ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 25: Elvis Andrus #1 of the Texas Rangers hits a single in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on July 25, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
In an ongoing series, we'll address offseason questions the Texas Rangers have to answer.
Today we'll discuss what could quickly be a sore subject with Rangers fans — the possibility of Elvis Andrus not being in a Rangers uniform come April.
Andrus is a free agent following the 2014 season, when he's set for a HUGE payday as one of the top shortstops in the game, not to mention the fact he's only 24 right now and will still be short of his prime by the time his free agency comes up.
It's been a long-held thought that Andrus would eventually leave to take over for Derek Jeter in New York, but that's not a sure thing anymore with the Yankees' recent struggles and the Rangers' recent success.
But what if the right deal came along to make trading Andrus a possibility? It's not out of the question, but it'd have to be a good one for a young, frontline starter, someone like David Price. With Andrus being a Scott Boras client, the Rangers know re-signing him could be difficult, but he is coming off a great 2012 season when he hit .286 and drove in 62 runs from the No. 2 spot while also being an effective base stealer with 21 swipes, down from 37 in 2011. He's also a plus defender and helps make up arguably the top shortstop-third baseman defensive duo in baseball.
The Jurickson Profar factor plays a big role here because it seems as if the Rangers are ready to roll with Profar, whether it be at shortstop or second base. Remember, Ian Kinsler said he'd be willing to move to the outfield for Profar's arrival.
Traditionally, the best time to trade a valuable commodity like Andrus is during the season, not in the winter, when you can get more in return because a team is trying to make a push at the postseason. But the Rangers plan on being a postseason team every year, so they're not going to be in the position to sell at the trade deadline any time soon, unless something goes drastically wrong.
Look, this deal is a long shot, but it's not out of the question as Profar could easily slide in at shortstop, as that's his natural position over second base. But again, it has to be a game changer in return to make it make sense. Time to get Tampa Bay on the phone?