Athletics shortstop Elvis Andrus underwent successful surgery today to repair a fibula fracture in his left leg, the club announced. The veteran suffered the injury over the weekend. The team anticipates he’ll be ready for Spring Training next season.
Oakland acquired Andrus from the Rangers in February after watching Marcus Semien depart in free agency. Andrus went on to log the bulk of the playing time at short this season, but he didn’t produce much offensively. The 33-year-old hit .243/.294/.320 with only three home runs, production that checked in 28 percentage points below the league average by measure of wRC+. That’s the fourth consecutive well below-average hitting campaign for Andrus, who had a really solid run for much of his time in Texas but has tailed off as he entered his 30’s.
Andrus remains under contract for 2022 on a $14MM salary, $6.75MM of which will be paid down by the Rangers. The deal also contains a $15MM vesting player option for 2023. Were he to reach 550 plate appearances next year, he’d have the right to exercise that option; if he doesn’t hit that playing time tally, he’d hit free agency at the end of the season.
Given Andrus’ continued offensive struggles, it’s possible the A’s look to upgrade the position this winter. Advanced defensive metrics have been split on Andrus’ glovework — Defensive Runs Saved has pegged him as below-average three years running, while he’s rated quite well by Statcast’s Outs Above Average. Most teams would still probably feel comfortable with Andrus’ ability to handle shortstop, but the A’s will assuredly try to be competitive again next season and could look to add a little more offense at the position. There’s likely significant roster turnover on the horizon, and the front office might try to bring in a controllable shortstop option via trade to push Andrus into more of a utility role.