Which Teams Make The Most Sense For Elvis Andrus?

This offseason’s crop of free brokers featured a transparent prime 4 within the shortstop class. Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson had been all extremely wanted and all ended up securing offers properly into nine-figure territory. There was a steep drop to the fifth most suitable choice, Elvis Andrus. Although there have been many groups who expressed curiosity within the “Big Four” that ended up lacking out, none have made a pivot to Andrus as a backup plan to this point. With simply three weeks remaining till Spring Training begins, Andrus remains to be unsigned.

The 34-year-old Andrus has 14 years of MLB expertise, having debuted with the Rangers as a 20-year-old again in 2009. He spent a few years with Texas, hitting at a below-average stage however nonetheless proving to be a useful participant through his pace and protection. In the 11 seasons from 2009 to 2019, he hit simply 73 house runs and walked in simply 7.3% of his plate appearances, however he additionally struck out at only a 13.6% fee. His batting line in that point was .275/.331/.373 for a wRC+ of 86, indicating he was 14% beneath league common. However, he additionally stole 302 bases and likewise graded very properly on the dust. Defensive Runs Saved had him only a hair above common, however Ultimate Zone Rating gave him a rating of 28.2, the fifth-highest amongst shortstops at the moment. Outs Above Average, which was solely launched in 2016, graded him at plus-14, which was additionally fifth-best on the place. Despite the subpar batting, his 30.3 wins above alternative from FanGraphs was the second-most of all shortstops in that timeframe, trailing solely Troy Tulowitzki.

Andrus had a down yr within the shortened 2020 marketing campaign and was traded to the A’s previous to 2021. He ended up having one other typical season for him, hitting at a 74 wRC+ stage however stealing 12 bases and getting some good grades for his work on the dust That led to him accumulating 1.6 fWAR on the yr. In 2022, Andrus really had a greater season, regardless of being launched by the A’s in the summertime. That launch appears to have been financially motivated, as Andrus had a barely sophisticated end to his contract. The 2022 season was the ultimate assured yr of the extension he signed with the Rangers again in 2013. There was additionally a $15MM membership choice for 2023 however it could turn out to be a participant choice if Andrus was traded in some unspecified time in the future and likewise logged 550 plate appearances in 2022.

Andrus was getting common taking part in time with the rebuilding A’s and was properly on his option to assembly that plate look threshold, however they as a substitute launched him in August. Andrus signed a brand new contract with the White Sox who wanted a shortstop alternative for the injured Tim Anderson, ultimately attending to 577 plate appearances on the yr. Because he signed a brand new contract with the White Sox, the choice was a moot level. He completed the yr with a .249/.303/404 batting line and a wRC+ of 105. Thanks to his 18 steals and shortstop protection, he was value 3.5 fWAR on the season between the 2 golf equipment.

Despite that strong platform yr, Andrus lingers in the marketplace. It’s possible that golf equipment are a bit skeptical of the 2022 output since Andrus hit .255/.302/.360 over the 4 earlier seasons — however even that diminished model of Andrus was value 4.3 fWAR in 419 video games. Many groups nonetheless have shortstop deficiencies, and Andrus might additionally probably assist out groups which are weak at second base. He’s by no means performed on the opposite aspect of the bag however expressed a willingness to take action final yr with the White Sox when there was a risk Anderson might return from the IL and retake the shortstop place. Despite the dearth of expertise on the place, many shortstops have discovered it straightforward to make the transition to second, which is taken into account a much less demanding spot.

Even with numerous qualities he might deliver to a membership, the marketplace for Andrus has seemingly been quiet. The major public hyperlink has been to the Red Soxwithin the wake of Trevor Story requiring inner brace surgical procedure on his elbow. Given that the membership additionally misplaced Bogaerts to the Padres, they’re now doubly missing within the center infield. Since then, they’ve signed Adam Duvall to hopefully be their on a regular basis middle fielder, thus shifting Enrique Hernandez to shortstop. Hernandez has solely ever had part-time work on the place however just lately expressed his pleasure a few longer stint there, showing on NESN throughout the membership’s Winter Weekend festivities. With Christian Arroyo taking part in second base, it is doable the Sox contemplate themselves set, however Duvall has by no means been a full-time middle fielder and the identical goes for Hernandez at quick. That’s dangerous sufficient as it’s, however one damage instantly makes the scenario look even worse. Adding Andrus and shifting Hernandez to second or middle area would enhance the depth considerably. Jon Morosi of MLB Network just lately steered the Sox want to deliver Andrus aboard as a non-roster invitee, however it could register as a shock if he could not get a modest main league deal elsewhere, given his first rate ground and strong yr in 2022. The Sox are nonetheless greater than $15MM shy ​​of the posh tax, per Roster Resource, and will nonetheless match a modest deal on the books with out pushing towards it.

There are loads of different logical suitors. The Diamondbacks at the moment have Nick Ahmed lined as much as be their major shortstop. Like Andrus, he is a powerful defender who does not hit a lot, however he is additionally been coping with shoulder issues for years. Those shoulder troubles put him underneath the knife final yr and he was solely capable of get into 17 video games. Geraldo Perdomo was pushed into common responsibility to cowl for Ahmed however had a poor season on either side of the ball. The membership has a superb second baseman Ketel Mars however he is been battling lingering hamstring points for the previous couple of seasons. A dependable veteran center infielder would make loads of sense for the Snakes.

A return to the White Sox would additionally make sense, though Anderson ought to be again within the shortstop place. The second base spot is much less clear, with Josh Harrison a free agent and Danny Mendick having signed with the Mets. Romy González, Leury García, Lenin Sosa and non-roster invitee Albert Hanser are a few of the choices that shall be in camp subsequent month, though none of these choices are notably inspiring. Andrus already stated he’d be prepared to play second subsequent to Anderson and maybe that may be a greater choice for the Sox than the rest at the moment readily available.

The Angels appear set to enter the yr with no clear-cut shortstop. Luis Rengifo, David Fletcher and Gio Urshela are all prospects, though none of them are actually excellent. All three of them are multi-positional gamers which have spent way more time at different spots on the diamond. Fletcher most likely has the strongest defensive argument to get the job, since he is been graded a bit above common by all three of DRS, UZR and OAA for his profession. However, he is offered little or no on the plate exterior of the shortened 2020 season. Also, with Anthony Rendon and Jared Walsh coming off injury-marred campaigns, the Halos have query marks at each nook infield spots. Brandon Drury and Urshela can assist out, however there’s nonetheless sense in additional bolstering the depth.

The Marlins have been busy on the commerce market currently, sending shortstop Miguel Rojas to the Dodgers and buying Luis Arraez in a commerce cargo Paul Lopez to the Twins. Their present plans appear to be to maneuver Jazz Chisholm Jr. to middle area, leaving them with an infield of Jean Segura at third Joey Wendle at shortstop, Arraez at second base and Garrett Cooper at first. They’ve been just lately related to first baseman Yuli Gurriel, with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reporting that Gurriel might play some second or third base. That’s a dangerous plan since he’ll flip 39 in June and hasn’t seen significant time at both of these positions since 2019. He’s additionally coming off a reasonably poor yr on the plate. The membership is already taking an enormous threat on protection by having a middle fielder with no expertise there and two left-side infield positions manned by gamers who’ve spent way more time elsewhere. Arraez has loads of second base expertise however was graded poorly there, and the Twins bumped him to first base earlier than buying and selling him to Miami. Perhaps including Andrus and shifting Wendle again to a utility position can be a extra elegant answer than the Gurriel choice.

The Astros have Jeremy Peña and Jose Altuve up the center and positively do not need assistance there. However, they misplaced their backup/utility choice Aledmys Diaz to the A’s in free company. They might change him in-house with Mauricio Dubón and David Hensley, however Dubón had a poor yr on the plate in 2022 and Hensley has been extra of a utility participant than a daily at shortstop. The Astros are most likely effective if everyone seems to be wholesome, however an damage to Peña might make the depth begin to really feel slightly shaky.

The Braves have misplaced Swanson to the Cubs however have not finished something to switch him. It appears the plan is to put in 22-year-old Vaughn Grissom within the place and hope he can deal with it. There’s threat in that plan as he has simply 41 video games of MLB expertise, together with simply 10 innings at quick. He has way more expertise on the place within the minors, however many prospect evaluators have steered he is stretched at that spot and will transfer to second, third or the outfield. Should the Grissom experiment fail, the membership’s finest backup plan proper now’s Orlando Arcia. He has plenty of shortstop expertise with the Brewers however does not hit a lot and ultimately obtained moved right into a utility position.

The Rockies had Jose Iglesias as their shortstop final yr, however he’s now a free agent. They appear prepared at hand the reins over to the prospect Ezequiel Tovar, who made his MLB debut final yr. However, he is nonetheless simply 21 years outdated, has performed simply 80 video games above the High-A stage and solely 14 of these above Double-A. Should he wrestle in his first actual style of the majors, their backup plan can be to show to Alan Trejo p Cole Tuckerneither of whom have a lot main league success of their very own.

There’s additionally the wild card that’s the World Baseball Classic, which takes place in March. Dozens of main league gamers shall be ramping up faster than they’d in a traditional spring and diving into aggressive motion. That creates the likelihood that somebody will maintain an damage that creates a brand new opening for Andrus. Some of the center infielders which are set to take part within the WBC embody Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil, Andrés Giménez and lots of extra.

What do you suppose? Where do you suppose Andrus winds up? Have your say within the ballot beneath.

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