They did that and then some on Saturday.
Doing the previously rendered impossible, the Rangers dealt longtime shortstop and franchise icon Elvis Andrus to the Oakland A’s in exchange for slugger Khris Davis (not to be confused with a one-time former Ranger Chris Davis, now of the Orioles).
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal was first to report the trade.
The Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics made a big trade Saturday.
Essentially, this deal amounts to the Rangers buying prospects (albeit good ones) from the A’s in exchange for swapping the bad contracts of the veterans Andrus and Davis.
Texas will send $13.5 million to the Oakland A’s in this deal, ensuring that the money is essentially a wash.
Overall, this is certainly an odd trade for the Rangers. It will be weird to see Elvis Andrus, a longtime Ranger and a franchise icon who helped guide the team to back-to-back AL pennants in 2010 and 2011, donning the green and gold of our rivals in Oakland this season.
As for Khris Davis, he comes to the Rangers after having killed them as a member of the A’s. He had a 48-homer season as recently as 2018, but hasn’t been nearly as good the last two years.
With no defined place for Davis to play in 2021, the Rangers could choose to DFA the 33-year-old or hope he hits well in the first half of the season so that he can be dealt for more prospects in midsummer.
The real prizes of this trade for the Texas Rangers, though, are catcher Jonah Heim and right-hander Dane Acker.
Heim, Oakland’s No. 9 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, possesses tantalizing upside and is well-regarded for his defense behind the plate, which will be invaluable to a young Rangers pitching staff in 2021.
Heim will likely unseat incumbent backstop Jose Trevino as the starter, which means prospect Sam Huff will begin the year in the minors.
Acker, who doesn’t crack the Athletics’ top prospect list, is an intriguing, strike-throwing right hander drafted in the fourth round of the 2020 MLB Draft out of the University of Oklahoma.
He currently projects as more of a back-end starter or reliever, but has the tools to become a legitimate asset.
Given the Texas Rangers’ lack of organizational pitching depth, this marks a significant acquisition for the franchise.
Trade Grade: B
Put simply, this is an peculiar trade, but it’s one that I think the Rangers can benefit from.
The Texas Rangers shed Andrus’ remaining contract and pick up Khris Davis’ remaining money with a year left on his deal.
Parting ways with Andrus will be tough, even if his play has declined.
At the same time, Khris Davis doesn’t really fit this current roster configuration, so we’ll see how the organization handles him.
On the other hand, acquiring Jonah Heim and Dane Acker isn’t to be taken lightly. Both of them have a chance to help the Rangers now and going forward, but especially Heim, who could now become the team’s starting catcher.
At the end of the day, the Rangers just needed to make room for Folty.
Boy, did they ever.