Elvis Was A Hero To Most

Word is the Rangers are shopping Elvis Andrus and the Yankees just might be interested. Andrus is 26 and about to start an 8-year/$120-million deal with two interesting clauses in it. First, Andrus can opt out of the deal after both the 2018 and the 2019 seasons. (The Rangers love those opt out clauses) and he also has a vesting option for 2023 which is triggered by either 550 PA’s in 2022, or a combined 1,100 PA’s in 2021 and 2022.

Neither of those clauses would be a concern if Andrus was still the player he was in 2012. In 2012, he appeared to be an emerging offensive force who was a defensive whiz. Now he appears to be a declining player on both offense and defense. Clearly, any team that acquires him will need to be very cautious.

Now part of the reason for that may be that he showed up to camp in 2014 overweight and he hurt his right shoulder early in the season. A healthy shoulder may bring back some of the lost defense and losing the weight would certainly do that. If Andrus goes back to being the defender he was in 2012, he becomes a lot more valuable. But his bat is the bigger problem. His 2014 line of .267/.314/.333 is slightly worse than the 2014 average AL shortstop (.257/.307/.359) That’s not something you pay $15-million a year for.

So how much do you pay? That’s the key question. If the Rangers were willing to knock pay $5-million of his salary each year, Andrus becomes a lot more interesting to me. Yes, there are definite risks involved, but remember this guy is only 26. He becomes the youngest Yankees position player by almost 5 years if a deal is made. The Yankees can risk $10-million a year on him and hope he becomes more like his 2012 self, but even if he doesn’t, a 2015 infield with Andrus instead of Brendan Ryan is a better one.