With the shortstop position as starving for talent as it is, the Texas Rangers made a move Monday to lock down one of the elite. ESPN reports that the Rangers have agreed to an eight-year, $120 million extension with shortstop Elvis Andrus.
Andrus still has two years on his current contract, which will pay him $4.8 million and $6.48 million in each of the years before the extension begins.
Last season, Andrus hit .286 with 180 hits and 85 runs scored.
Texas’ move is not surprising, as Andrus is arguably the sixth to seventh best shortstop in Major League Baseball, behind Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Reyes, Starlin Castro, Derek Jeter, J.J. Hardy and Ian Desmond.
The Rangers have now locked up their middle infield through at least 2017, when second baseman Ian Kinsler‘s contract runs up. Andrus and Kinsler combine to form one of the best up-the-middle tandems in all of baseball. Third baseman Adrian Beltre is under contract through the 2016 season with the Rangers.
Andrus was instrumental in the Rangers’ two World Series appearances in 2010 and ’11, and the Rangers appear to be trying to maintain that roster as best they can. Texas lost Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli this off season.
Texas lost their opening day match up with the Houston Astros Sunday night 8-2, while Andrus went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. The Rangers face off next with the Astros on Tuesday, in the second game of their three-game series in Houston.
John Engel is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports, and works for ESPNLA 710 AM Radio as well. Follow John on Twitter: @engelsportsguy.