It seems that most Texas Rangers fans would love to see Jon Daniels trade Elvis Andrus before the start of the 2015 Season. I, however, am not one of those fans. Here’s five reasons I think Elvis Andrus will stay in a Texas Rangers uniform.
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MONEY / CONTRACT:
Everyone is well aware of the 8-year/$120MM contract extension Elvis Andrus signed the day before the 2013 Opening Day. That is a lot of money and a long time to lock up a player. Andrus has a 10 Team trade block until 2016, and if he is traded there is a full NO TRADE clause that goes into effect.
When J.J. Hardy agreed to an extension contract with the Baltimore Orioles that put Elvis Andrus at a higher trade value, in my opinion. However, with that “No Trade Clause” once he is traded probably deters more clubs than peaking interest in him.
Most people blamed that big contract for Andrus’ slump in the beginning of the ‘13 season. In 2012 Elvis Andrus entered his age 23 season. It is his best season to date, and probably the reason JD didn’t hesitate to give a long-term contract to the shortstop. But, his numbers are not so drastically different in the previous three season or the subsequent two.
Andrus has never been a home run hitter. He has a total of 20, you read that correctly TWENTY, in his big league career. His batting average has never been above or even at .290. Oh, wait, its the errors that drive you crazy, right? Well, what if I told you that he committed only four more errors this season than last season? In the last three seasons Elvis Andrus has remained about the same when it comes to errors, 2012 (16), 2013 (14), and 2014 (18). The same is true for double plays turned, 2012 (91), 2013 (97), and 2014 (94).HEALTH:Andrus remains one of the healthiest players on the Texas Rangers roster. Normally this wouldn’t seem like such a big deal, but after this season I think it deserves to be a reason on its own. Granted, he didn’t show up to Spring Training in the best of condition. And its true, his ability to start was questionable. Nonetheless, Elvis Andrus ended the season as one of five players in the majors with 6 seasons of 145+ games before turning 26-years old.OUR OTHER CHOICES:Take a look at the 2015 MLB list of free agents at shortstop (via Tim Dierkes, MLB Trade Rumors)Mike Aviles (34) – $3.5MM club option with a $250k buyoutClint Barmes (36)Asdrubal Cabrera (29)Stephen Drew (32)Jed Lowrie (31)John McDonald (40)Hanley Ramirez (31) Who are you willing to pay big money for a 1-year contract hoping that they stay healthy throughout the season and into the postseason? (Yes, I’m predicting the Texas Rangers make it past 162.) I’m not willing to take a chance. Elvis Andrus is proven to stay healthy, and he already has the contract. Not to mention team chemistry.HIS RELATIONSHIPS & LEADERSHIP:I don’t think team chemistry can ever be overvalued. Andrus and Adrian Beltre have a great bond. They have fun, some would argue too much fun, on the field. But, baseball is a game. The team should have fun. I like seeing them relax and have fun, but Andrus, Beltre and the rest of the team know when to get serious, too. That attitude spills over into the clubhouse. It shows the rookies that “this is a game, we get paid to play a sport that we love, have fun, don’t take it for granted and work your butt off.” I believe that without Elvis Andrus being part of the team this season, the rookies and the team could have been much worse. Hard to believe, I know. Starting next season without Elvis Andrus at shortstop doesn’t seem likely given the length of his contract and the stipulations that come with a trade. But, if I am to be perfectly honest, I’m OK with that. I don’t believe the Texas Rangers are in rebuild mode, more of a “let’s get everyone healthy” mode. Let’s face it, if most of the Rangers stayed healthy this season, they could have been a contending team. Next year should not be any different. What do you think?