Was Elvis Andrus’ Extension Necessary?

The Rangers recently extended 23-year-old shortstop Elvis Andrus for three years and $14.4MM.  The contract covers Andrus' three arbitration years.  As we'd expect for a Boras Corporation client, the Rangers were not able to secure any free agent seasons.  Does this contract extension offer value to the Rangers as opposed to just going year-to-year?

I talked to a couple of agency employees who estimated Andrus' year-to-year arbitration earnings in the range of $15.3-15.5MM, with salaries around $3MM, $4.8MM, $7.5MM if his offense holds steady.  Andrus brings runs and steals to the table and might win some Gold Gloves, but arbitration doesn't pay this skillset handsomely.  The Rangers didn't get much cost savings here, unless Andrus takes his offensive game to another level.

As with any extension, the Rangers got cost certainty, in that they don't have to haggle with the Boras Corporation three times to determine Andrus' salaries.  There is also the benefit of pleasing Major League Baseball, as the contract might help keep future shortstop salaries down.

The downside for the Rangers is that Andrus' earnings for 2012-14 are now guaranteed, even if his offense suffers a downturn or he endures a significant injury.  Such events would have limited his arbitration salaries.  J.J. Hardy's 2009 season is a good example: his performance and playing time plummeted, so he settled with the Brewers for just a $750K raise.  The Rangers no longer have that protection, and all they received in return was a million or two in savings and some cost certainty. 

36 Responses to Was Elvis Andrus’ Extension Necessary? Leave a Reply

  1. jondogg2010 3 years ago

    You get the peace of mind even if you take less. It’s a hassle for a player to worry about Arb. Also, he will be 26 when the contract ends, and will be in line for an even larger payday if he performs to the level he has thus far in his career.

  2. Darin Clouse 3 years ago

    What a brilliant move by the Rangers! NOT!!! Does Terry Ryan now work for Texas? He has done nothing to help the Twins this off season and this seems like something he would do. What a mistake not at least getting a couple of the free agent years in this deal.

    • Stark2k 3 years ago

      Im sure they tried, he’s a Boras client.  Plus they have the top shortstop prospect in the game if Andrus leaves.

      Its not like they can’t sign a real extension later, this just takes arbitration discussions off the table.

    • $17867741 3 years ago

      Why hate Terry Ryan?

      You’re looking at a guy who, in the first tenure with the Twins
      organization, traded for: Johann Santana, Shannon Stewart, Francisco
      Liriano, Joe Nathan, etc.

      It was Bill Smith who ruined the Twins organization and it will take Ryan several seasons to fix it, let alone one off-season.

      Look at other examples:
      It took GM Friedman 3 years to ‘complete’ building the Rays
      organization, after serving more than 1 year as their Head of Player

      After 2 years, GM Anthopoulos is STILL fixing the mess left behind by JP Ricciardi.

    • Rangersfan32 3 years ago

      Lol what? Everybody knows how good Andrus is and he’s expected to get even better. They just bought out his arb years which would probably end up being much more than what will now be his annual salary. It’s a good move to save that much more cash for the near future.

  3. jondogg2010 3 years ago

    ur right pretty sure i commented on this and now its gone

  4. Don’t know where those comments went…but I was going to say that no one is questioning whether it was a good move for Andrus.

  5. This is a slap in andrus face. as much as this guy has helped to contribute to their world series run and being prob a top 10 SS in the majors and he only gets a 3 yr 14 million dollar deal? but they pay over 100 million for a SP who is unproven against major league ball clubs?

    • j6takish 3 years ago

       Did you read the article?

    • gw9999 3 years ago

      You need to research what the arbitration process is which is all he was eligible for the next three seasons. 

      This deal does not cover any of his free agency years when he will get the opportunity to negotiate with multiple teams and get the substantial raises he will eventually earn.

    • you are funny

  6. Madman2TX 3 years ago

    It’s the Rangers buying 3 yrs of not having to deal with Andrus again. You also have to figure it’ll appeal to another team if Profar is ready sooner than later and Andrus ends up packaged in a trade.

    • Gene Weaver 3 years ago

      Absolutely. Makes Andrus a great package with Perez if the Rangers decide to go after a nice SP in the future.

      • Rangersfan32 3 years ago

        Perez has the potential to be a #1. Hopefully Texas never has to include him and Andrus in a deal for a SP… Unless its the King or Kershaw.

        • Kurisu Rg 3 years ago

          After last year’s performance, Martin Perez’s ceiling is actually a pretty good no. 2 starter. He’s no longer viewed as a future ace.

  7. jondogg2010 3 years ago

    I think that it’s a good move for Texas, and guaranteed $$ for Andrus, why not? I mean sure he would make more going year to year, but not everyone is looking for the absolute top dollar.

  8. Bret Wask 3 years ago

    He is 6 feet tall and 23 years old (in 2012).  He has 3 pro seasons under his belt.  There are no guarantees, but he is someone everyone should predict to get better (especially at the category that does pay in arbitration… power).  

    The reason he didnt give up any free agency years is so that he hits the market when the Yankees are looking to replace Jeter.  

    •  If the Rangers think 15+ type HR power is on the way, and are pretty darn confident in that, then I guess that could be a reason to do this deal.

    • The Yanks will be looking to replace Jeter way before 2014 lol…

  9. Raymond Holguin 3 years ago

    “and all they received in return was a million or two in savings”
    comments like that always make me laugh and shake my head in disgust at the same time

  10. mtex 3 years ago

    and who’s to say the Rangers don’t re-up with him before this contract ends? If a situation presents itself, you know both sides would listen. This sets Andrus up for life, no matter the next contract.

    Oh, and Andrus does not = Hardy.

    •  Did not say Andrus = Hardy.

      They could re-up him just the same if he was not locked in for 2012-14.  No evidence the chances of a longer-term deal increased because of buying out arb years.

      • mtex 3 years ago

        I get your thinking, but do you really not see the other side of it? I see there being advantages for both sides on this deal – past whatever power numbers he puts up.

        How old was Hardy when he regressed? Using him as your example made it look like you were comparing the two down the lines.

  11. Stark2k 3 years ago

    Considering hes 23 years old and earned this money almost entirely on defense, how exactly would his performance fall off enough to change his projections outside of injury?  His defense going to fall off a cliff at 24?

    I think the chance that he could break out offensively and hit .320 with 40 doubles and raise his value is at least as likely as an injury lowering it.

    •  No reason to discount the injury, he could easily be out for three months in a season and basically become overpaid because of it.  But for him to hit .250 instead of .280 in 2012, quite possible.  He did not earn the money on defense, he earned it on consistency, playing time, runs, steals, and an OK batting average.

      • Stark2k 3 years ago

        He broke into the league at age 20 and just lowered his K% over 3 points in his age 22 season for a 74:56 K:BB rate.  Very very solid approach at the plate, even if there is little power behind it.

        A career high in batting average seems a lot more likely to me than a career low. 

  12.  Who’s the better player at this point, Andrus or Erick Aybar?

    • setupunchtag 3 years ago

      Aybar had a very nice offensive season but his defense is, and has been over-rated, and he should not have been awarded the GG. Fangraphs had him as the 6th best SS, defensively in the AL, and B-R had Aybar at .1 dWAR. Andrus, at 23 is a better player.

      • That’s what I suspected. Even as an Angels fan, I think he got credit more for a few highlight double plays (loved the 3-6-2 DP) than general consistency.

        Granted, defensive inconsistency has been mentioned for Andrus as well.

  13. rayking 3 years ago

    File this one under “we will pay anything to deal with Boras less.”

  14. DbacksAreBeast 3 years ago

    They should have used that money towards Kinsler…not Andrus.

    • Rangersfan32 3 years ago

      It’s interesting really. Just depends on if Texas wants to move one of Andrus or Profar to 2B in the near future or have a Profar/Kinsler DP combo instead.

  15. Chewtoy123 3 years ago

    This is a strange piece. I didn’t think MLBTR made a habit of second-guessing extensions of solid young players with their best years ahead of them.

    Isn’t lower production and a chance of injury a risk inherent in every contract, thus making every contract a risk? I just don’t understand the point if this piece, I guess. Elvis is young and very talented, and he’s a joy to watch on the field. He’s still maturing and, flanked by Beltre and Kins, is likely only to improve as his discipline and instincts develop. Rangers fans are happy to have him locked up.

    • Aircool 3 years ago

      I agree with you chewtoy123 that Chance of injury and production drop offs are inherent risks in all contracts, but quite often you know what to expect from people with longer track records. It was like saying Jose Bautista after the 2010 season was guaranteed to hit another 50+ Home Run season because he did it once. There was a lot of skepticism as to whether he could produce that kind of power again, and well he hit 42 which is enough, but there was a large drop off. So the skepticism is due to a lack of having proven himself, and because we have yet to see long term consistency that is present in most BIG free agent signings such as Fielder or Sabathia etc. 

      Although Fielder was overpaid… But he is good, but there are also health concerns… Anyways no one nit-pick my statements, I realize that there may be some flaws, but I mean I cannot cover every ground…..

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