Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Last Time the Yankees Acquired a Texas Rangers Shortstop

News broke yesterday on the blog that the New York Yankees would at least kick the tires on acquiring Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus in a trade this winter. It is no secret that the Yankees are in the market for a shortstop and it’s also no mystery why most of the rumors regarding the position have been via trades. The free agent market is dry at the position and so it the farm system. Do we not remember the last time the Yankees acquired a shortstop from the Texas Rangers after the team had a change of heart after handing out a lofty contract?

The Yankees acquired Alex Rodriguez from the Rangers before the 2004 season for Alfonso Soriano and others while Texas kicked in a ton of cash. Truth be told that was a great deal for the Yankees as Texas was paying a huge chunk of Rodriguez’s salary while New York was getting MVP caliber seasons and awards out of their new third baseman. It wasn’t until A Rod opted out during the World Series and subsequently signed a new 10 year deal that the deal went sour but I digress, should the Yankees really bail out the Texas Rangers once again? In a word, and reluctantly, yes.

Basically Andrus is being paid for the eight eight seasons through the 2022 season at $120 million, or an AAV of $15 million. If the Yankees can pay a 40 year old Derek Jeter $17 million then I see Andrus as an absolute steal at a $2 million savings. This is before Texas presumably eats some salary to help the trade move along. Andrus is 27 years old and while he has his question marks and concerns attached to him honestly, who doesn’t?

Sure you could give Stephen Drew a one year pillow contract but then what? The shortstop free agent market looks worse next season then it does this season. The Yankees best and closest shortstop prospects are in A Ball and won’t be ready by 2016. A fresh team with a new atmosphere can do wonders for a players especially when they are playing for the New York Yankees. I don’t necessarily worry about him coming into camp 15 lbs. overweight last spring and I don’t worry that he is just a .272 career hitter. Andrus would make this team exponentially better and is probably the best shortstop that has been made available this winter, including Troy Tulowitzki, and if New York can snag him for a reasonable prospects deal I would do it in a heartbeat.

Andrus does not change the whole dynamic of the team and the middle of the order like a Hanley Ramirez would but he would inject speed on the base paths, flexibility in the field, and a gritty average at the plate. The Yankees are building a team with all three of those components and Andrus fits all three of those components, add the fact that New York would get his entire prime and can move him to second or third base if need be by the end of the contract this seems like a no-brainer to me. Get it done. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)