We’ll get back to our Big Board talk later this week. Here’s why we’re waiting. Elvis Andrus’ growth as a player is costing us our chance at a young outfielder who, if he’s a change of scenery guy (and I think he is) could easily fill the shoes of Josh Hamilton. He’s young and affordable and we really need him in the outfield at the Ballpark. We have so many pieces we could easily move that the Arizona Diamondbacks have no interest in. They have made a possible deal about Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar. Profar is a no-brainer not to move, but Andrus…well he is a Scott Boras client. That means there is little chance he will re-sign with the Rangers. In fact it would be historic.
Andrus, who is under team control through 2014, screwed the deal for the Rangers by having a great year. And it’s not like an anomaly. He has gotten better every year. While Andrus WAR number took a slight dip (from 4.4 to 4.2), it’s actually Ian Kinsler who makes this a conundrum. His WAR number went down. Drastically. To make matters worse, it appears Kinsler’s 7.5 WAR form 2011 was a fluke. He’s come in at 3.2 in 2010 and 2012. Probably a real number. Adding to the mess is Jurickson Profar’s lack of at bats in the second half of 2012. But based on his minor league growth, it’s hard to think he won’t have a higher number than Kinsler. In fact, in almost every baseball category.
When you put Upton and Andrus side by side, it’s a lateral move at best. Actually based on last year, the edge goes to Elvis. The Rangers appear to be dug in enough on keeping Andrus that they actually discussed a trade for one of the Atlanta Braves young shortstops. Sound familiar? That’s where Elvis came from. Andrus provided much more than what you see at the plate and in the field. He appeared to be one of two Rangers who weren’t “tired” down the stretch. That is where it would be impossible to trade Elvis for Justin Upton. Upton appeared to become de-motivated last season. But when you take out a calculator, you have to wonder if the other pieces involved in an Andrus for Upton deal would include a starting pitcher coming back to us would put the deal back in the Ranger’s favor.
Out pursuit of Upton has, according to reports, been pretty strong. I certainly understand that. He definitely goes in the re-load column. I do not like Scott Boras and think he is bad for the game, stretching payroll numbers to un-realistic places. And in this case, he is just as big a part of the conundrum as Kinsler is. But the Rangers refusal to move Andrus is actually a good sign. It goes to a “win now” philosophy that any fan would be hard pressed to argue with.