Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus will be able to opt out of his contract next offseason, which would mean leaving a guaranteed four years and $58MM on the table. The Rangers are bracing for that to happen, though general manager Jon Daniels has had brief talks regarding an opt-out-preventing deal with Andrus’ agent, Scott Boras, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. For his part, the 29-year-old Andrus told Wilson and other reporters that he doesn’t view the upcoming season “as a free-agent [year],” and that he’d like to stay with Texas for the rest of his career. Andrus has been a member of the Rangers organization since coming over in a blockbuster trade with the Braves in 2007. He’s currently fresh off arguably his top season, in which he posted a career-best 4.1 fWAR – thanks in part to a personal-high home run total (20; Andrus entered the year with just 35 from 2009-16).
More from Arlington:
- For a large portion of his career, Andrus has been teammates with right-hander Yu Darvish, who ranks as this offseason’s most prominent free agent. While the Rangers and Darvish would like to reunite, it doesn’t sound as if it’s going to happen. When discussing the 31-year-old with MLB Network Radio on Friday (Twitter link), Daniels said that the Rangers “have maintained contact with Darvish,” but “it’s very unlikely” they’ll sign “any upper-end pitchers.” At the very least, that would seem to rule out Darvish and Jake Arrieta, while Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn could also be too expensive for a team with limited financial wiggle room. The Rangers are reportedly aiming to spend around $155MM in 2018, and they already have approximately $144MM in commitments.
- The Rangers have also shown interest this offseason in outfielders – including their own free agent, Carlos Gomez, and newly signed Brewer Lorenzo Cain – but Daniels seems content to stick with his in-house options. Texas “talked about Cain” before he went to Milwaukee, Daniels acknowledged to MLB Network Radio, but “it’s not likely at this point” the team will pick up a veteran outfielder. The Rangers are bullish on Drew Robinson, according to Daniels, who’d like to give chances to him and fellow young outfielders Delino DeShields, Nomar Mazara and Willie Calhoun. As far as playing time goes, adding a vet to put ahead of those four “would be a little counterproductive,” Daniels noted.
- Texas already has a highly experienced outfielder in Shin-Soo Choo, who Daniels suggested will see plenty of time at designated hitter this season. That was the case in 2017, when Choo appeared in 75 games in the outfield and 65 at DH. Metrics have pegged Choo as a minus defender for most of his career, which doesn’t figure to change during a year in which he’ll turn 36, but he’d still like to factor into the outfield mix. “I’m healthy, my legs feel good, I can play the outfield,” he said (via T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com). “I can still catch a fly ball. I can play the field and help this team.” Choo added that he’ll discuss his role with manager Jeff Banister in spring training.