Elvis Andrus has been the Rangers’ everyday shortstop since he debuted in 2009, but those days are coming to an end. He’ll take on a utility role in 2021, while Isiah Kiner-Falefa will have an opportunity to become the Rangers’ starting shortstop, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
The 32-year-old Andrus has thrived at times, which led the Rangers to give him an eight-year, $120MM extension that kicked in during 2015, but his production has tumbled in recent seasons. Dating back to 2018, Andrus has batted a dismal .260/.306/.378 (73 wRC+) with 21 home runs and 39 stolen bases across 1,187 plate appearances. He’ll now play multiple positions in the rebuilding Rangers’ infield, where they have questions everywhere, including at second base. Rougned Odor has been Andrus’ longtime double-play partner, but his starting job also isn’t set in stone, Grant tweets.
The Rangers may want to jettison Andrus and Odor in trades, but it would be difficult to find takers for either. Andrus has another two years and $28MM left on his contract, while Odor’s deal includes two more seasons at $27MM (including a $3MM buyout for 2023). Those are steep commitments for players who have offered poor production for multiple seasons in a row. In Andrus’ case, Grant notes he has 10-and-5 rights, and his $15MM club option for 2023 would turn into a player option in the event of a trade. With those facts in mind, it will be that much more of a challenge for the Rangers to trade him.
Kiner-Falefa, like Andrus and Odor, has not hit much in the past few seasons. He came into the league in 2018 and has since batted .260/.319/.351 (75 wRC+) with eight homers and 18 steals in 846 PA. Kiner-Falefa has seen action at a handful of positions, though, and he even earned an American League Gold Glove Award for the work he did at third base in 2020. The Rangers are hopeful the 25-year-old’s value will increase at short, though it’s unclear who will start for the team at third. It’s “likely” they’ll pick up a third baseman on a one-year deal in free agency to help bridge the gap to prospect Josh Jung, according to Grant.
If Andrus isn’t a starter anymore, then Odor shouldn’t be a starter either. He’s been even worse than Andrus has offensively.
Odor knows how to throw a punch and there is value in that
Down with OBP
The value is Jays’ fans laughing at $27 million in sunk costs.
that punch pretty much ended Jose Bautista’s career, guy was completely toast after that.
He got punched early on in the last good season he had. Punch had nothing to do with his decline, as good of a narrative as that is
Punch also ended Odor’s production. Hasn’t been the same player since shortly after that.
Our good friend Joey Bats. Wasn’t going to give Toronto another home-town discount, and reportedly turned down $150M/5, leading the TO FO to start wiping the sweat off its brows.
No Joe. Bautista asked for $150-mil for 5 and the front office turned it down.
So Andrus is going to become the most expensive utility infielder in the majors, while Odor will continue to be the most overpaid second baseman.
the rangers won’t be able to sign an expensive infielder till they get rid of those two expensive players. once again there is higher chance kim signs elsewhere.
they actually have a ton of payroll flexibility
that just may be. why would a team in rebuilding commit another $30-40 mil on one more infielder?
the team that has a need at 3B currently so it would make plenty of since to bring in a young IF with the potential to become a big part of it’s future
Kim is 25 and profiles as a 3B in most reports I have seen. Why wouldn’t Kim make sense to the Rangers?
I know right… if anything this would show that the Rangers are even more confident then they were… they did this just to create a glaring hole in the lineup… I don’t think so.
Only 32 and no longer fit to start on a team that is mediocre at best. That’s gotta hurt.
They’re in sync in the photo!
Nah. They look more like the Backstreet Boys in the photo.
So do the Padres have any infielders who the Rangers would be interested in? Could use as leverage for a Lance Lynn deal.
Oh I’m sure the Rangers would be all over Cronenworth.
I was thinking Jorge Mateo. The guy can hit, faster than light, and has an arm. He’s also a second baseman
Doubt the Padres would trade Croneworth for Lynn
How about trading Elvis to the Angels for Justin Upton? Similar bad contracts, Maybe a change in scenery would be good for both players.
Interesting idea. Upton definitely has the more upside, but higher AAV.
upton’s downturn in production is soley on his injuries. sure, he is not a defensive wizard but his value is much higher than that of andrus.
Tbh, I don’t like that trade. Both teams could use either player, but I just don’t really want Upton. Idk, Andrus was suuuper unlucky last season, and he said his swing began to feel really good at the end of the season (as his numbers grew).
How about getting Miguel Andujar from NY? Probably, won’t cost much, and he is cheap, young, and has major upside. I see Solak starting at 2B over Odor. They just need to pull the plug in him.
Wouldn’t it make more sense for Kiner-Falefa to handle the multi-position role?
They need to see what they actually have in Kiner-falefa. He’s only 25. Let’s see what he can do when focusing on playing one position.
That’s fair. There’s also Andrus’ vesting option. His total number of plate appearances across 2021-22, or even in ’22 alone, could automatically trip a $15M vesting option for 2023, so moving him to a non-guaranteed starting role will allow them to control how often he plays while still getting some value for their money.
wu tang killa beez
I like the idea of Andujar to the Rangers
I would love Andujar in a Rangers uniform.
Andrus is only losing his starting job so that the Rangers can avoid his vesting option.
So this contract is eight years in length, had two opt outs, has a team option that becomes a player option if traded which is also a vesting option that kicks in multiple ways. What a deal
No point announcing a starter in early December. Andrus was okay in 2019 and I think he’ll be ok with a full season.
Drawing any conclusions, good or bad, from a 60 game season serves zero purpose because baseball seasons are not 60 games, players usually get more of a chance to play out of their struggles.
Package stinky Odor with Lynn and the Rangers can shed that salary real quick.
I know Rangers29 will want the moon for Lynn but 1 real good prospect in the aforementioned trade scenario would help Texas reset for 2022.
I don’t want the moon for Lynn lol, but I want to capitalize on our players who have positive value, and get positive value in return. Odor should either be flat out released or traded for another terrible contract player who might change something in Texas. I am really wanting Lynn to go to the Twins right now, and the package would be Lynn and Montero for Duran and Rooker. Not the moon, but two solid prospects.
Exactly – I’d be happy if the Rangers got the horses they gave Odor back in a trade. Seriously he had horses negotiated into his contract.
I would like to see Andrus be the 3rd baseman until Jung comes up next season. IKF is a lock for SS, Odor should be traded or released, and Guzman should get one last shot at 1b. Get rid of Odor (finally) and sign Kim. Idk why people are saying that this means no more Kim, moving Elvis to 3rd (or benching him) doesn’t mean no more Kim.
No on Springer – just cause!!!!
Not sure Elvis could handle 3rd – he’s been fragile last couple years.
If Jung has a good spring I’d like to see the team roll with him – other kids weren’t overwhelmed this season.
I don’t mind Andrus at 3B actually. If he can handle it he’s a good stopgap til Jung & Wendzel. Only thing is making sure his $15M 2023 option doesn’t vest. He needs 1100 PA in ‘21-22, or 550 in ‘22. He could theoretically play 3B a full season & still not vest if we bench him in ‘22 (when prospects are ready). It’s probably wise to platoon him now though, so we’re not put in a position of intentionally benching him in 2022
wu tang killa beez
How about bringing Gallo back to 3B and take a shot at Georges Springer ?
Is there room for negotiation here? 🙂
No according to Joey Gallo, his agent, his mother, and his dog. The ship has sailed on 3B for Gallo, he’s a gold glove outfielder.
Odor isn’t a major league caliber player. Can’t hit, can’t field. He can hit some bombs and steal money. Cut him. The locker room will benefit. Addition by subtraction. Swallow the bullet, Daniels.
A guy thats never played anywhere but SS is going to become a utility player? What could go wrong…
A large portion of the team bats around .220, so it’s not like they’re tweaking a WS caliber team. And yes I know there is so much more to measure a player than BA, but the Rangers are pretty sad no matter what analytic you look at.
Has a player ever won a gold glove and then changed positions the following year?
Our very own Michael Young!! Won a Gold Glove as SS in 2008, then moved to 3B when 20-yo Elvis came in.
Honestly the comparison between IKF & MY is uncanny
Except Michael Young could hit for average, power, and drive in runs. Kiner-Falefa has not shown the ability to do any of that yet
IKF had a .329 OBP last year and hit .280, that’s useful if you are a leftside goldglover.
I agree, IKF is not at MY’s level right now. But his trajectory is similar: MY didn’t have a season with >100 OPS+ til 2004 (age 27). IKF is 25 & posted 91 OPS+ in the 60-gm season. He has to take that next step this coming year for sure, but the intangibles are all there.
Mr. Daniels has outsmarted himself…..
I think the Rangers offense has a chance to be a lot better than the Rangers expect.
C Trevino don’t really K that often
1B Guzman has pretty good power and fantastic defense
2B Solak didn’t do all that well in 2020 but if he can return to 2019 form he will be great
SS Kiner Falefa was tearing the leather off the ball before the start of the season was delayed. hopefully he can be more like that without the gap in workouts 2020 caused
3B Not sure yet
RF Gallo. if anyone else in the lineup can give him even a little protection. he might actually get some decent balls to hit.
CF Tavares? if he makes opening day his speed and defense will make a big difference. but he also hit the ball with more authority then ever before in 2020.
LF Santana 2020 was lost due to injury. but if he can return to 2019 form could be a major trade chip at the deadline
DH Calhoun. Probably the best bat on the team. after taking a ball off the chin in the spring he didn’t look very comfortable at the plate. it did get better right at the end of the year so hopefully he can return to form.
I understand there were a ton of hopefullies in this lineup… but it is quite young so that should be understandable
With IKF at 3rd, and Guzman at 1st, you have two excellent defensive players, but very little power in the bats, at positions that generally provide power. The Rangers need to get Gallo some help in that department.