Forgotten in all the trade talk about where Hamels or Beltre will end up, is where Elvis Andrus goes. Or doesn’t go.
Andrus has an opt out at the end of the season. He can stay or he can go.
Andrus’s agent is Scott Boras. You hire Boras for one reason, to fully maximize your earning potential for financial security for you and your family in the few incoming-generating years you, as an athlete, have.
Rarely does a Boras client remains with the same team. And that’s where this gets tricky for the Rangers.
Surely, they have a sense of whether he is planning on staying. With the relationship Andrus has with the team, the two parties have certainly discussed it.
One has to hope Andrus will stay with the Rangers because he has matured both offensively and defensively the past three seasons to become a real asset in the lineup.
From 2015 on, every year, his production increased year to year, most notably making a monumental jump in home runs from eight to twenty from 2016 to 2017.
And before he got injured this season, he had taken his game up even further, hitting .327 with an OPS of .962. That’s elite-level offense.
You can bet that is exactly how Scott Boras will be selling him, as one of the small tier of elite-level shortstops, with Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor.
Boras can sell bifocals to a blind man. His full-court courtship of Elvis Andrus will be a thing of beauty.
Which leads back to the point.
Chances are pretty good Elvis Andrus opts out of this contract at the end of the season. So, it makes sense to trade him at the deadline. Get something for an elite-level shortstop rather than let him walk away for nothing.
One team in the pennant race and without a shortstop is last season’s trade partner, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who swapped the Rangers Willie Calhoun for Yu Darvish.
They lost their All-Star shortstop Corey Seager to elbow surgery and have been working around it since. Deep pocket teams like the Dodgers don’t like talking chances when it comes to making it deep in October. Elvis would make a great rent-a-player for them, or for any other team looking for a significant offense boost up the middle. (The Cubs might be looking to upgrade Addison Russell, as well, who has never developed into the hitter he was projected to be.)
And, for everyone who thinks it’s blasphemy to consider the Rangers without Elvis Andrus, consider this: After he opts out, they can always re-sign him. Like with Adrian Beltre.
But, with Boras as Andrus’s agent, it’s going to cost. This is the most special, elite-level shortstop the game has seen in nearly one hundred years. You can bet the slick-tongued agent will have the facts to back that up.
Cole Hamels (4-7, 4.05) vs. Mike Fiers (5-5, 3.79)
Game time: 3:10