The greatest consolation prize for losing to the Houston Astros ever will be made official Thursday afternoon as the Texas Rangers will use their off-day to announce the contract extension of 24-year-old shortstop Elvis Andrus, who was set to hit free agency after next season.
As we discussed earlier in the week, the Andrus extension has a lot of ramifications for the Rangers — all of which are good, even if it might force them to make some tough decisions down the road.
The contract is good through 2022, the team said Thursday, and includes a vesting option for 2023. The two years left on Andrus' deal are valued at around $11.2 million, meaning if he plays out his contract with the Rangers he could earn $131 million over the next 10 seasons, according to the Associated Press.
The two-time all-star reportedly will have a no-trade clause that will be less powerful in the second half of the deal, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, who also said Andrus will have an opt-out after the 2018 season. Many folks have reported the deal is essentially a four-year deal and Andrus will likely opt out after 2018 to test free agency again, maybe to appease his money-hungry agent, Scott Boras, whose clients infamously go for the most money and always test free agency with a few exceptions, which now include Andrus.
Through the first three games of his fifth season, Andrus is hitting .308 with two triples, both in Tuesday's game.
More details will be announced this afternoon, but what do you think of Andrus sticking around for the long term?
Below is the press release from the team announcing the deal:
The Texas Rangers formally announced today that the club has signed shortstop Elvis Andrus to an eight-year contract extension through 2022 with a vesting option for 2023. The extension is in addition to his current contract that runs through the 2014 season.
Andrus, 24, went 4-for-13 (.308) with 2 triples, 2 runs, an RBI and walk in the club’s season-opening 3-game series in Houston this week. He is in his fifth major league season and has the second-most games (604) of any Ranger since the start of the 2009 campaign. He has played 638 total games in the regular season and postseason since 2009, 10th-most in the major leagues in that span. Andrus already has the second-highest hit total (623) of any shortstop in club history.
An All-Star in 2010 and 2012, Andrus is one of just 11 shortstops in major league history with multiple appearances in the Midsummer Classic before turning 24 years old. He is one of only eight players in the modern era (since 1900) with four seasons of 145-or-more games at the age of 23-or-younger.
In 2012, Andrus had the best offensive season of his major league career, batting .286 with 62 RBI. He ranked 2nd in the A.L. in triples (9), singles (137) and infield hits (38), all team bests, while also placing among the league leaders in at-bats (T6th, 629) and hits (11th, 180). He established career highs for batting average, games, hits, total bases (238), doubles (31), triples, and extra-base hits (43). He was one of 7 A.L. hitters with at least 60 RBI, 80 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases. Over the last 9 seasons (2004-12), the only other A.L. shortstops with minimums of a .285 average, 180 hits, and 60 RBI in a season were Derek Jeter (5 times), Michael Young (4), Miguel Tejada (3), and Orlando Cabrera (1).
Andrus had 123 stolen bases in his first four major league seasons, 8th-most in A.L. in that span and the 6th-highest total in club history. He has recorded at least 20 stolen bases in each of his 4 seasons, joining just 3 other Rangers with as many seasons of 20-or-more steals: Ian Kinsler (5), Oddibe McDowell (4 consecutive), and Bump Wills (4 consecutive). He is just the 5th shortstop since 1901 with 4 seasons of 20-or-more stolen bases before turning 25.
He has started all 34 playoff games at shortstop for the Rangers in the last 3 seasons. He is Texas’ all-time leader in postseason steals (9), is tied for 1st with Ian Kinsler in hits (38), and is 2nd in at-bats (140) and runs (18-tied). He hit safely in each of his first 12 career playoff games in 2010, tying the 3rd-longest hit streak to begin a postseason career in baseball history.
His 593 games at shortstop from 2009-12 were 2nd-most in the majors to the White Sox’ Alexei Ramirez (617). In that 4-year span, he led all major league shortstops in putouts (981) and ranked 2nd in total chances (2689). He had a 54-game errorless streak between miscues on August 19, 2011 and May 1, 2012, the 2nd-longest span ever for a Texas shortstop and best ever for a regular.
Andrus has a major league-high 62 sacrifice bunts since 2009, 3rd-most overall in club history, just 3 shy of tying Bert Campaneris (65) for 2nd on Rangers all-time list. He joins Omar Vizquel (1999 and 2004 with Cleveland) as the only A.L. players with multiple seasons of 17-or-more sac bunts since 1990. Last year, Andrus ranked 2nd in majors with 38 infield hits (Derek Jeter-40) and T6th in A.L. with 7 bunt hits, which also tied Craig Gentry for most among Rangers. According to baseball-reference.com, Andrus has led majors each of last 2 years in productive outs (39 in 2012; 41 in 2011).