Thursday, February 7, 2013
Andrus the free agent?
By Jason A. Churchill
Elvis Andrus was rumored in trade talks this offseason, but the Texas Rangers decided to hang onto their starting shortstop, passing on Justin Upton as the reward. There's no confirmed evidence than any offers were actually made, or which other players may be involved, but Upton is now in Atlanta and the Rangers and Andrus may prefer heading toward free agency rather than looking at an extension with the club.
Andrus went on ESPN Dallas this week and said he's taking a wait-and-see approach. There are two years left on his contract, but the club has Jurickson Profar ready to take over the position at any point. If they keep both, Profar could move to second base or perhaps even center field, though it's most likely he'd remain an infielder and the Rangers would move Ian Kinsler to the outfield or even first base, as was discussed this offseason.
Andrus could still be traded, but if the Rangers wish to maximize that path, doing so before the July 31 deadline might be ideal, since Andrus' trek to free agency gets shorter everyday. ESPNDallas.com's Richard Durrett wonders if it might make sense to deal Profar, perhaps for left-hander David Price. Durrett riffed off ESPN Insider Keith Law' having opined on such an idea on the Ben and Skin Show on ESPN Radio in Dallas. Law says he wouldn't make that trade from the Rangers' standpoint, noting the six years of club control and Profar's star abilities at a premium position as the main reasons.
Andrus doesn't have the value Profar does, particularly due to the club control differential, but he does have value and if one of the two is to be traded for starting pitching and/or outfield help, it's likely to be Andrus, especially with extension conversations seemingly being on hold.