HOUSTON — The Elvis Andrus contract extension remained on hold Tuesday as the Texas Rangers and agent Scott Boras iron out the final details of an eight-year, $120 million deal that will keep the shortstop in Arlington for at least the next six seasons.But his teammates and coaches have already congratulated Andrus on the deal, and outfielder David Murphy had a suggestion for Andrus after he said he was going to spend Thursday’s off day with his family.“He’s taking them shopping,” Murphy said.The Rangers hope to announce the deal at a Thursday news conference, after which Andrus will be free to hang with the family.He also wants to stay with the Rangers for the rest of his career, despite the fact that there is a clause that will allow him to opt out of his extension in 2018.“That’d be awesome,” Andrus said. “As a player, that’s what you’re looking for, to stay with the team that gave you an opportunity. For me, that’s the Rangers.”While Andrus said the deal isn’t done, he dispelled the notion that Boras would insist that Andrus test the free-agent market after next season.“I never said that,” Andrus said. “I know everyone thinks that about Scott. He’s always going to try to get you the best deal, but in the end it was my choice and what’s best for me and my family.”Second baseman Ian Kinsler, while happy for Andrus, said that the speculation that will circulate about his future is something out of his control.“I feel like I’m a second baseman,” he said. “I’m worried about tonight. It’s not a distraction at all.”Start for GentryManager Ron Washington didn’t take long to buck the platoon trend in center field as the right-handed-hitting Craig Gentry was the Rangers’ starting center fielder against Astros right-hander Lucas Harrell.Gentry hit .277 (39 for 141) against righties last year but was stuck behind Josh Hamilton and David Murphy, two left-handed hitters. Gentry hit everyone this spring, and left a favorable impression on Washington.“It didn’t seem to affect him in spring training,” Washington said. “I have no issue whatsoever with Gentry in the lineup tonight against a righty.”Washington said that he hopes to get all 25 players on the field before the next homestand ends April 10. Geovany Soto could catch Wednesday if A.J. Pierzynski wants to rest after catching Tuesday night.Joe Ortiz made his major league debut Sunday, and Washington was pleased with the performance even though the rookie left-hander surrendered a run in the eighth inning.“I thought he represented himself extremely well,” Washington said. “He’s going to give up some hits, and he’s going to give up some runs. But he kept coming.”Briefly• The Rangers and White Sox will play in the annual Civil Rights Game on Aug. 24 at U.S. Cellular Field, Major League Baseball announced. The game will be part of the Rangers’ only visit to the south side of Chicago this season.• Minor league left-hander Chad Bell, who pitched at three levels last season, will undergo Tommy John surgery today and miss the entire season.• Some 3,000 tickets remain for Saturday’s game at Rangers Ballpark, and around 11,000 are left for the Sunday series finale against the Angels. The home opener Friday is sold out.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson