The last member of the Texas Rangers’ two World Series teams, their most veteran player, arguably the face of the franchise, now plays for the Oakland A’s.
Elvis has, indeed, left the building.
The Rangers traded shortstop Elvis Andrus and catcher Aramis Garcia to their division rival for designated hitter Khris Davis and two prospects The trade also included the Rangers shipping $13.5 million to Oakland to help cover Andrus’ contract in 2022, sources said.
The Rangers also received young catcher Jonah Heim and right-hander Dane Acker, a native Texan drafted last year from Oklahoma (fourth round). Heim collected his first career hit Aug. 30 at Globe Life Field off Kyle Gibson.
Club officials did not comment on the trade. Andrus, who had to approve the trade because he had no-trade protection as a 10-and-5 player, also did not immediately comment.
Andrus is a two-time All-Star and has been the Rangers’ opening day shortstop the past 12 seasons. He leaves as their franchise leader in stolen bases (305) and a .274 hitter. In an era in which on-base plus slugging percentage as become a vital stat, Andrus’ .702 OPS suggests he is a below-average offensive player.
Numbers don’t always tell the whole story.
Andrus was a spark plug on the 2010 and 2011 American League championship teams after breaking into the lineup to open the 2009 season at age 20. He was acquired in 2007 from the Atlanta Braves in the famed Mark Teixeira trade that signaled a Rangers rebuild but produced three All-Stars who were key components of the franchise’s most successful era.
His best season came in 2017, when he slugged a career-high 20 home runs and batted .297 en route to being named Rangers Player of the Year for the only time in his career.
Andrus was derailed in 2018 by a broken right arm after being hit by a 95-mph fastball. He hasn’t been the same offensively, though he swatted 12 homers in 2019.
A back injury played havoc on Andrus during the 2020 season in which he batted just .194 with three homers. The Rangers moved Isiah Kiner-Falefa to shortstop earlier this offseason, leaving Andrus without a position and putting his future with the team in doubt.
Davis hasn’t been much better since swatting 48 home runs in 2018, the last of three straight seasons with 40-plus homers. Slowed by injuries, he slipped to 23 homers in 2019 and had only two in 2020.
His average slipped, too, down to .200 in the abbreviated 2020 campaign, but he remained a high-strikeout hitter.
But he has always punished Rangers pitching, with 32 homers and a 1.021 OPS in 284 at-bats. He hit 19 of those at Globe Life Park, but was only 1 for 9 with one RBI last season at Globe Life Field.
The addition of Davis creates a logjam at DH, where Willie Calhoun was the presumptive favorite for the position after the Rangers opted to not re-sign Shin-Soo Choo. Davis is a right-handed hitter while Calhoun bats left-handed, so there is the potential for a platoon there.
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