Khrush's goal? 'Raining home runs' in Texas

February 10th, 2021

ARLINGTON -- The “Ranger killer” is now a Ranger after Texas received Khris Davis -- who has always performed at a high level in Arlington -- in a five-player trade with the A's on Saturday.

In 79 games against the Rangers, Davis has hit .271 with 32 home runs and 80 RBIs. Davis couldn't explain his performance against the club, but did say he liked the Texas heat and is excited to see whether that same magic he had at Globe Life Park works at the newly opened Globe Life Field.

Davis doesn’t know whether the trade has really hit him, especially after spending the last five seasons with the A’s. He doesn’t think it’ll truly sink in until he’s back at the Coliseum in Oakland when the Rangers play the A’s on June 29.

“It feels pretty right,” Davis said on a conference call with local media on Wednesday. “It feels like the right move for the Texas Rangers to trade for me. Inside, I feel like it's a new beginning to get right, to be what I can play out to, and I'm excited for the opportunity and happy to be here.”

“Get right” for Davis means returning to his previous elite-level form. He hit .247 in four straight seasons from 2015-18 before dropping to .220 in ‘19 and .200 in the shortened ‘20 season. Davis also led MLB in home runs in '18 with 48, compiling 158 homers over five seasons in Oakland.

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“Raining on the league with home runs, nothing's a better feeling,” Davis said. “I mean, it's been a while, I can't really lie to you. I don't know the future ahead of me like that. Everybody knows how I hurt [Texas in the past], so I know what I'm here to do.”

Davis said it took him a while to settle in at the plate last season. The stats back that up. Davis hit .146 through his first 15 games, then hit .270 in his last 15.

How Davis performs in Spring Training, and whether he can return to form, will dictate the competition in the outfield and at designated hitter for the Rangers. With Gold Glove Award winner staking claim in right field along with , and , the Rangers will have to work to get everybody at-bats during the season.

Davis has only played four games in left field in the last two seasons, and he will more than likely be competing with Calhoun at designated hitter. Rangers manager Chris Woodward said the club’s versatility will allow them to move things around as competition heats up.

“We think Khris has something to offer our club,” said Rangers president of baseball ops Jon Daniels. “He's going to get a chance to come and compete. We look forward to seeing what he's got. Performance and the competition will dictate a lot of things -- our roster, the playing time within it -- but he's definitely coming to camp, and we think he's got more to offer.”

Davis also mentioned his off-the-field struggles in 2020, especially as everybody navigated the COVID-19 pandemic.

As somebody who often feeds off the crowd, not having fans in the stands was hard for Davis. Staying home and isolated, while important, was hard to do over the course of the entire season

“It was a very cold year, I would explain,” Davis said. “Like you either have to adapt to it or, you know, we've got to find a way to make it through somehow. I feel like I pushed on, no doubt, like everybody else, and I'm glad to be here right now.”