Baseball’s annual winter meetings are next week, and do not think for a moment that Texas Rangers’ shortstop Elvis Andrus’ name won’t be brought up; the only question is who will bring up his name first, the Rangers or Team TBD.
On Wednesday at Big Corporate Name Ballpark, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said that teams have inquired about Andrus in the past, but that he remains a “big part” of the future. He also mentioned that just because Andrus had the worst decisive playoff game performance in the history of playoff baseball with his Game 5 stinker he threw in Toronto of the American League Division series means the Rangers think any less of Andrus.
Andrus remains signed through 2023 at about $15 million per season as part of that glorious eight-year, $120 million deal he signed a few years ago.
Last season, Andrus batted .258 with a .309 on base percentage. He also hit seven home runs with 62 RBI, and stole 25 bases. He was not, and is not, terrible. He is just not worth the massive deal.
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The problems in moving Andrus begin and end with that contract; if the Rangers want him gone, they will have to eat a large portion of it. Another issue is there no viable replacement for Andrus.
That includes Jurickson Profar, buuuuut ....
The former No. 1 prospect in all of baseball has been a total bust because his body is a bust. Profar has missed each of the last two seasons with a variety of injuries, and right now is not part of this club’s major league plans for 2016.
Buuuuuuuuuuut ... JD told me yesterday that Profar is healthy - at which point the GM leaned around me to knock on a piece of wood - and has been throwing pain-free at 150 feet. That is a major accomplishment; when Profar had previously been throwing at 105 feet had been a problem. As of today, he’s fine. The team said no to Profar playing winter ball with the idea that he just do nothing and get healthy.
JD said the plan is for Profar to start the season in Triple A. He is only 22, and despite his horrible track record of injury, his age allows to at least consider the possibility that perhaps a career that began with such promise is not over.
Of the two scenarios - moving Andrus or Profar making it as an every day MLB player - right now dealing Andrus feels like the bigger prayer.