Elvis Andrus, Ranger For (At Least Most Of His) Life
By Eric Reining
According to sources (per everywhere), the Rangers and SS Elvis Andrus are apparently close to an 8-year, $120 million extension, though it’s unclear whether Texas would shred his current deal — thus covering his age-24 through age-31 seasons — or if it would be tacked on, thus covering his age-26 through age-33 seasons.
Either way it’s a big bargain, so it really doesn’t matter.
Over the last two seasons, Andrus has produced 4.4 and 4.2 fWAR, respectively. If we multiply those totals by the going rate of each Win Above Replacement — which at the time was around $5 million per win — then Andrus has been worth exactly $43 million over the last two years. (Or about $21.5 million per year.) Due to inflation, the price of each current WAR is $5.5 million, so we’re essentially asking Elvis to give us 2.7 fWAR per year over the lifetime of his 8-year extension. Being that he’s yet to even hit his prime, he could legitimately give us $80-$100 million in surplus value by the time his contract runs up.
Okay, we’ve covered Elvis Andrus’s placement within the organization. Now what does this mean for the other two players in the equation — Ian Kinsler and Jurickson Profar?
Ian Fullington and I discussing Elvis vs. Profar a few nights ago.
Let’s start with Profar, because he’s now the person who most directly affects the fate of Kinsler:
He just turned 20. He’s starting the year at Triple-A Round Rock. That’s what we know;
Profar is under team control for the next 6 years. At the moment, there’s really no need to force him into a Major League position. The question is, do the Rangers look to use him as the centerpiece in a blockbuster trade, or simply keep him tucked away at AAA for the year and start him at 2nd base in 2014? If the latter is the reality (which seems most plausible), then Ian Kinsler would have to move to a different position;
Ian Kinsler is in his age-30 season. In 2013 he’s beginning the 5-year, $70 million extension he signed last April. That, again, is what we know.
Right now we have to assume Ian Kinsler won’t be traded. The money he’s making isn’t so much the problem, but rather that he’s coming off a very poor year by his standards. The Rangers wouldn’t have a difficult time finding teams interested in Kinsler, but they would likely have an issue getting ample value in return. And Jon Daniels just doesn’t do shit like that. I can’t get behind the idea that the Rangers are so down on Ian Kinsler that they would dump his salary and get nothing in return.
With that in mind, it appears Plan A is that Elvis Andrus will be the franchise’s longterm shortstop, that Ian Kinsler will play 2nd base — at least in 2013 — and that Jurickson Profar will either succeed him there or be traded. If the plan is to carry all three players with 5- and 10-years in mind, then the Rangers are pushing forward into the era of Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar playing in tandem up the middle, with Ian Kinsler either in the outfield or at 1st base.
Of course, with everything else Ranger-related, we really don’t know what the blueprint looks like. I could have this all wrong. Seemingly everything changes in our Ranger-conscious on a weekly basis, which speaks more to the quiet, get-the-job-done mentality of the front office than it does about our capacity to analyze information.