Texas Rangers Should Tread Lightly With Elvis Andrus’ Contract Situation
Jurickson Profar is awesome and Elvis Andrus won’t be with the Texas Rangers much longer. That seems to be all you hear these days regarding the 2012 AL West runners up and although the first statement is true, the second may not be and shouldn’t be. The Rangers are blessed with a great problem in that they have one too many studs on the left side of their infield, but that shouldn’t automatically mean there will be an odd man out, which would be Andrus. Texas needs to tap the breaks and analyze this situation before proceeding.
Profar is the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball and for good reason–the kid is a star in the making. However, that doesn’t mean the Rangers should just ship their talented young shortstop to any team that’s willing to give up the middle of its pitching rotation. Andrus is only 24 years old, which means he has at least another decade of incredible play left in him. In the words of my favorite Rangers fan, Elvis does the Jeter better than Jeter. Truer words were never spoken.
His future is bright and no one is questioning that, but Profar is 19 and has plenty of time to develop at Triple-A Round Rock before being brought up full time. In the meantime, Texas should take advantage of the opportunity it has to evaluate Andrus and his contract, which will expire after the 2014 MLB season. If there’s no doubt that Profar is going to be as good or better, then a trade is obviously the best option. However, Profar could hit a bump and then Andrus isn’t expendable anymore.
Furthermore, Profar can play second, third or short so the Rangers have another option. Adrian Beltre is 33 and although he played out of his mind in 2012, he isn’t getting any younger. In another year, he could really start to show his age and then Texas could decide to bring Profar up as a third baseman to replace Beltre instead of Andrus. Then they would have an infield full of young stars, save Ian Kinsler who’s barely on the wrong side of 30.
Again, this is just an idea, but it’s a way better one than just getting rid of a hot young star like Andrus, who will undoubtedly become a superstar for the team to which he’s traded. It’s not as easy as ready, fire, aim as this situation seems to be going with the Rangers’ brass. They need to figure out exactly what Profar is and what his role will be in the big leagues before anyone is moved, especially someone like Andrus.