The Rangers will look to deal shortstop Elvis Andrus next offseason if the club can't sign him to a multiyear extension, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports. People within the Texas organization are reportedly not "overly optimistic" they can extend Andrus, who is scheduled to hit the free agent market following the 2014 season. The Rangers, of course, already have a ready replacement at shortstop in Jurickson Profar, the consensus top prospect in baseball.
Andrus, 24, enjoyed his best offensive season yet in 2012 (.286/.349/.378 with 21 steals and 85 runs) and also provided very strong defense (9.1 UZR/150) at short. He is entering the second year of a three-year, $14.4MM extension signed in February 2012 that covered his three arbitration years.
While Andrus recently said he wants to stay in Texas, the team hasn't been able to come to terms on a major extension. The Rangers have twice offered Andrus long-term deals in recent years, Heyman reports. Andrus is represented by Scott Boras, whose clients often eschew extensions in favor of testing free agency (though this is not always the case, as evidenced by recent high-profile examples as Carlos Gonzalez and Jered Weaver). There was a great deal of trade speculation over Andrus this offseason, most notably from the Diamondbacks as they and the Rangers attempted to work out a trade for Justin Upton. Texas, however, declined to move either Andrus or Profar.
Heyman says the Rangers haven't approached Andrus about an extension this winter, though if the two sides did work out a multiyear deal, it would likely mean that Profar would have to change positions. There was speculation that Ian Kinsler could be moved to first or the outfield to make room for Profar at second base, though Kinsler said in January that he wasn't yet comfortable with a position switch. Nelson Cruz, David Murphy and Lance Berkman could all be free agents following the 2013 season so that could create space for Profar in the outfield, or Kinsler could be moved then to make way for Profar at second.