Davis was acquired from Oakland on February 6 along with catcher Jonah Heim and Minor League pitcher Dane Acker. The Rangers shipped longtime shortstop Elvis Andrus to the A’s in return.
Davis opened the season on the 10-day injured list from March 29-May 6 with a left quad strain. He hit just .157 with two home runs and five RBIs over 22 games since he was activated.
Rangers general manager Chris Young said the two moves were more about where the club is as a whole than Davis’ performance this season.
“Given where we are, this year is about finding out more about our young group of players,” Young said. “I think this is going to create more opportunities to find out about guys like Eli. We're excited for our future, we're excited to get to look at these guys and see how they seize the opportunity.”
Davis was well liked in the Rangers’ clubhouse and provided a veteran presence for an overall young team. Rangers slugger Joey Gallo, who is one of the most tenured position players with Davis out, said Davis showed that he cared about everyone and wanted to contribute to the winning culture in Texas.
Manager Chris Woodward echoed that sentiment, saying that the clubhouse loved his spirit and leadership.
White made the Rangers’ Opening Day roster, appearing in 22 games and hitting .127 over two separate stints with the big league club. He was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock most recently on May 13. Over 20 games with the Express, White slashed .343/.450/.537 with a .987 OPS, three home runs and 11 RBIs at five different positions.
“The big leagues are really hard,” Gallo said. “You’ve seen multiple top prospects get sent down. For him, coming up here and starting to get a little more comfortable and relaxed and being able to just play. He’s such a talented kid. Eventually he’s going to break through and show why he’s here. And how good of a player he is. I’m excited for him.”
White said that offensively, he mostly kept the same plan in Round Rock that he had in Arlington, but it was more dedicated to getting more consistent quality at-bats. Getting his timing and confidence back while sticking with the same routine helped him get his rhythm back for the big leagues.
“There were little adjustments here and there, but a lot of it had to do with just getting myself on time,” White said. “Whether that be starting my move a little late or starting too early sometimes, I was able to do it. Once I was able to get on time, everything started falling into place."
Woodward said the plan defensively is to play White primarily as an outfielder -- specifically in center field -- but to also use him at first or second base when Nate Lowe or Nick Solak need a day off.
White said he believes he’s proven he can play outfield at the big league level, and felt like being able to be versatile could only help him. While he’s only played the three outfield positions in the Majors, he played 75 games at second and 21 at third in the Minors. He was primarily a shortstop in college, getting 135 total starts over three seasons with Clemson.
“I kind of like [moving around] honestly,” White said. “It’s fun to come in and see your name at a different position every day. It’s tough sometimes, obviously playing every day in one position you get into a routine, but I feel like I’m at a point with outfield now that I feel really good out there and my game doesn’t suffer if I play second base one day and go back to outfield the next.”