The Braves announced they’ve acquired outfielder Eli White from the Rangers in exchange for cash. Infielder Hoy Park was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot. Texas had DFA White last week.
White, 28, has appeared at the MLB level in each of the last three seasons. A former Oakland draftee who landed with the Rangers in the Jurickson Profar swap before the 2019 campaign, he debuted with Texas the next year. White played a sporadic role for the next few seasons, suiting up in 130 games. He owns a .185/.260/.295 line over that stretch, hitting nine home runs but striking out at a massive 31.6% clip.
While While hasn’t hit much at the MLB level, he’s shown flashes in other areas. He’s stolen 17 bags in 22 career attempts, including a 12-for-13 success rate this year. The Clemson product has demonstrated that athleticism on defense, with Defensive Runs Saved pegging him 11 runs above average through 890 career innings of outfield work. He’s rated as nine runs better than par by Statcast’s Outs Above Average, with most of his time in left and center field.
White’s 2022 season was cut short in June when he fractured his right wrist in an outfield collision. The injury required surgery, but there’s no indication it’ll have any lingering effects on his 2023 preparation. Assuming he holds his 40-man roster spot all winter, he’ll compete for a bench job in Spring Training. Atlanta has Marcell Ozuna, Eddie Rosario, Jordan Luplow and Sam Hilliard all jockeying for left field playing time alongside Michael Harris II and Ronald Acuña Jr. No one in the left field mix — White included — can be optioned to the minor leagues, so Atlanta may wind up dropping one or two of those players from the 40-man roster before the regular season kicks off.
Park landed in Atlanta less than two weeks ago. The Braves acquired the left-handed hitting infielder from the Red Sox for cash or a player to be named later. He’d just been claimed off waivers by Boston from the Pirates, and he’ll head into DFA limbo for a third time this winter.
The 26-year-old has a .201/.291/.346 line in 210 MLB plate appearances with the Yankees and Bucs in the past two seasons. He’s shown solid plate discipline but hit for below-average power and struck out at a slightly elevated rate. The South Korea native is a .255/.384/.417 hitter in parts of two Triple-A campaigns. He’s played each of second, third base, shortstop and all three outfield spots in his limited MLB time. Park has two minor league option years remaining, so another team willing to devote him a 40-man roster spot could keep him in Triple-A for the next couple seasons. He’ll be traded or waived yet again in the next seven days.