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Monday, April 01, 2013

Report: Rangers, Elvis Andrus agree to long-term extension

No foolin’?

CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reports that the Rangers and shortstop Elvis Andrus have agreed to an eight-year, $120 million extension.
Andrus’ current contract ran through 2014, so the extension locks him up through 2022. Heyman reports that the combined remaining value of the current contract and the extension means the Rangers are committed to paying Andrus $131 million over the next 10 years.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 10:03 AM | 84 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: contract extension, elvis andrus, rangers

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   1. Eric Ferguson Posted: April 01, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4400822)
Given all these long-term extensions, I fully expect to one day bemoan the lack of player movement in much the same way people have bemoaned the abundance of player movement in recent years.
   2. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 01, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4400835)
Whither Jurickson Profar?
   3. RJ in TO Posted: April 01, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4400838)
It has finally hit the point where I can no longer wrap my mind around the contracts in baseball.
   4. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4400840)
Whither Profar now? Andrus has been rumored to be trade bait. Will one of them be moved off the position? Beltre is under contract until 2015 and Kinsler through 2017.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4400845)
Eh, this is the first of these extension I really don't like for the team. Andrus hasn't really improved his hitting much, and defense starts to decline quite early.

With Profar in the wings, I would have traded him.

Whither Profar now? Andrus has been rumored to be trade bait. Will one of them be moved off the position? Beltre is under contract until 2015 and Kinsler through 2017.

Andrus really doesn't have the bat for another position, and that would sap a lot of Profar's value. Really, at this point, I start dangling Profar and Olt for Stanton.
   6. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4400846)
Whoa. That's a stupid deal.
   7. deputydrew Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4400847)
Is there really that much excess value in this deal? He's great on D and the bases, but is well below average with the bat, right? What was his trade value? If the goal is to win a title, why not trade Profar for a haul that can help you do that with Beltre and Kinsler still performing? I don't hate this contract on its own, but it seems like the Rangers don't have much of a plan in place regarding these players.
   8. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4400848)
It's official - DiSarcina could have received a $50 million contract these days.

I didn't think Elvis was that great, but I didn't think he was a 91 OPS+ guy either. Yikes.
   9. The District Attorney Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4400849)
I wouldn't have extended Kinsler, and if I did extend Kinsler and Profar kept coming, then I would have traded Andrus rather than Profar.

But, now they've made their bed and Profar is not in it. So, at this point, if they're smart, they'll trade Profar for a mint, and if they're not so smart, they'll move one of the three to another position.
   10. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:07 PM (#4400852)
#7 - Exactly. This is basically top dollar for him. What's in it for the Rangers?
   11. spycake Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4400873)
So, negative Rbat is worth $15 million per year over eight years, guaranteed two years in advance?
   12. BDC Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4400914)
But, now they've made their bed and Profar is not in it. So, at this point, if they're smart, they'll trade Profar for a mint

I reckon the medium-term plan is to move Kinsler to first base, which is indifferently occupied at the moment, and then Profar comes to the majors as a second baseman (reports are this will never happen, but all reports are that nothing will ever happen). Alternatively, when Kinsler or Beltre or God forbid Andrus himself goes on the DL for a month sometime soon, Profar is up anyway.

Andrus really doesn't have the bat for another position, and that would sap a lot of Profar's value

This would be true in fantasy baseball, perhaps, but in reality, if you have two guys in your lineup, their value is not abstractly defined by their given position; they're both going to be in the lineup anyway. You want to get them in the best defensive alignment, and in spots in the order where their skills can be complementary, as far as that can be (OBP and speed higher, power following).

Doubt about the signing seems to be predicated on the suspicion that Andrus is a lemon who will decline from this point onwards, but heck, he's 24 and is already a canny veteran (he's always played like one). Enjoy the prime of a good player, I say. And having too many good players does not mean you're doomed :)
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4400922)
This would be true in fantasy baseball, perhaps, but in reality, if you have two guys in your lineup, their value is not abstractly defined by their given position; they're both going to be in the lineup anyway. You want to get them in the best defensive alignment, and in spots in the order where their skills can be complementary, as far as that can be (OBP and speed higher, power following).

But you don't want both Andrus and Profar in your lineup. If Profar can play SS well, and has an above average bat (as seems likely), Andrus is useless.

You can get better offense in the lineup at minimal defensive cost.

I reckon the medium-term plan is to move Kinsler to first base, which is indifferently occupied at the moment, and then Profar comes to the majors as a second baseman (reports are this will never happen, but all reports are that nothing will ever happen).

Moving Profar to 2B is a good way to get his knee wrecked and destroy his career. Moving Kinsler to 1B is a good way to have shitty production at 1B the next 5 years.

Why go through all these gymnastics? Make a trade.
   14. BDC Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4400936)
All quite logical, snapper, but I still think of Bill James's old maxim: the best trades are made because you want to acquire a specific somebody, not because you have someone sitting around that you want to get rid of.

I will entertain any imaginary trade that brings Giancarlo Stanton to Arlington, but I hate to fantasize in a vacuum :)
   15. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: April 01, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4400959)
If Andrus has an opt-out after the 4th year, I wouldn't trade Profar, especially since I'm not sure Stanton is actually going to be better than Profar.
   16. Esoteric Posted: April 01, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4400990)
I strongly disapprove of this deal, if for no other reason than it throws a spanner into the works of the rumored talks between the Nationals and Ian Desmond about a long-term contract extension.
   17. RJ in TO Posted: April 01, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4400997)
If Andrus has an opt-out after the 4th year, I wouldn't trade Profar, especially since I'm not sure Stanton is actually going to be better than Profar.

No one is sure that Stanton is going to be better than Profar, but Stanton is turning 23 this year, and has already established himself as a top-tier slugger with above average to excellent defense in RF. For Profar to be better than him, he'll likely need to be an inner circle HOFer. That seems like a lot to hope for.
   18. deputydrew Posted: April 01, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4401131)
[quote0]I will entertain any imaginary trade that brings Giancarlo Stanton to Arlington, but I hate to fantasize in a vacuum :)

They should have entertained real discussions that brought Justin Upton to Arlington. It seems crazy to prefer Kinsler at first to Upton in right field.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4401134)
All quite logical, snapper, but I still think of Bill James's old maxim: the best trades are made because you want to acquire a specific somebody, not because you have someone sitting around that you want to get rid of.

There have been a lot of bad trades made b/c you want to acquire a specific somebody. That's how Texas got Andrus in the first place.

Profar is worth more as an asset to a team that can play him at SS.

No one is sure that Stanton is going to be better than Profar, but Stanton is turning 23 this year, and has already established himself as a top-tier slugger with above average to excellent defense in RF. For Profar to be better than him, he'll likely need to be an inner circle HOFer. That seems like a lot to hope for.

Yeah, I mean Profar might be Honus Wagner II, but the odds are very good he never has a season as good as Stanton's 2012.

   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4401141)
They should have entertained real discussions that brought Justin Upton to Arlington. It seems crazy to prefer Kinsler at first to Upton in right field.

Concur. When Ariz was trolling around for a SS and giving away tasty goodies at 50 cents of the $, they should have been offering Andrus for Upton. Probably could have added some magic beans and gotten Bauer too.
   21. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4401339)
No one is sure that Stanton is going to be better than Profar, but Stanton is turning 23 this year, and has already established himself as a top-tier slugger with above average to excellent defense in RF. For Profar to be better than him, he'll likely need to be an inner circle HOFer. That seems like a lot to hope for.


This is implying that Stanton is a pretty much guaranteed HOF player. Seems like 23 might be a bit young to say that about somebody.
   22. RJ in TO Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4401401)
This is implying that Stanton is a pretty much guaranteed HOF player. Seems like 23 might be a bit young to say that about somebody.

It certainly is on the young side, but he's already demonstrated over an extended period in the majors that he's got the tools and skills to be one, whereas Profar is at the moment still just another minor league prospect (albeit by all accounts a very good one). At this time, it seems like there's a lot more that could still go wrong in Profar's development than Stanton's.

Which, again, is not to say that Profar isn't an excellent prospect.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:48 PM (#4401406)
While it's true that Stanton could be the next Horner or Tony C, here are his ISO ranks by age

20: 6th best (Ott, Williams, ARod, Horner, FRob, GS, Tony C, Trout, Foxx, Mantle)
21: 3rd best (Mathews, Pujols, GS, Foxx, Trosky, Straw, Joe D, Williams, Andruw, Horner)
22: 3rd best (Williams, Joe D, GS, Boog, Mathews, Foxx, Bench, Juan Gone, Horner, Longoria)

Now he's no Ted Williams, he might be Eddie Mathews and Horner's probably a pretty good comp. He's got 12 WAR in 1500 PA and he was on pace for 6+ WAR last year. His career ISO on the road is 309.

Stanton definitely has HoF talent. Probably not inner-circle HoF talent since it's all about power for him but HoF talent. He probably won't make it for all the reasons guys don't make it. The only two guys I'd put ahead of him on the desirability list are Trout and Harper.

   24. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:54 PM (#4401416)
Horner was extremely fragile, a trait that surfaced very early on, has Stanton evidenced nay signs of that?

Tony C? Who knows where his career would have gone...

basically guys like Horner and Tony C are not useful for projecting anyone- they're useful as cautionary warnings...

   25. ColonelTom Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4401423)
I'm nowhere near the first to say it, but Profar to the Cards for Oscar Taveras makes a ton of sense for both clubs. Now that Andrus is locked up, maybe it will happen.
   26. DL from MN Posted: April 01, 2013 at 05:04 PM (#4401437)
What's in it for the Rangers?


If we're headed for $1M/marginal run they get a nice deal.

The MLBPA needs to fight for a $1M minimum salary.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 06:12 PM (#4401502)
I'm nowhere near the first to say it, but Profar to the Cards for Oscar Taveras makes a ton of sense for both clubs. Now that Andrus is locked up, maybe it will happen.

It does indeed.
   28. cardsfanboy Posted: April 01, 2013 at 06:32 PM (#4401526)
This is implying that Stanton is a pretty much guaranteed HOF player. Seems like 23 might be a bit young to say that about somebody.


Stanton would be my first pick among all players in baseball, that I would bet hits over 130 ops+ over his next 2000 plate appearances. He may not be a hof talent, but he's definately an elite hitter now, young enough now to be fairly confident that it won't go away overnight, and experienced enough now to feel confident it isn't a fluke.

I would take him over Votto, Kemp, Miguel Cabrera, Trout, Harper, Braun etc. (for projecting ops+, not as an overall player, but for certainty to repeat his performances over each of the next 4 years, he's high on my list)
   29. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 01, 2013 at 06:39 PM (#4401538)
The Rangers gave Profar some time at 2B in 2012, for the first time. There's also this:

http://www.mlbinjurynews.com/2013/04/rangers-may-convert-jurickson-profar-to.html

suggesting Kinsler might be traded. Were the Rangers swayed by Andrus's ST--do they think he's legitimately developing power? They wouldn't be the first team to make a move based on a few ABs.
   30. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4401542)
Is SS hitting really so weak that an OBP heavy 91 OPS+ over a full season is worth 3 WAR? Yeesh.
   31. cardsfanboy Posted: April 01, 2013 at 07:04 PM (#4401560)
Is SS hitting really so weak that an OBP heavy 91 OPS+ over a full season is worth 3 WAR? Yeesh.


I would imagine so. I think it's fairly safe estimate that an average hitting shortstop hits around 90 ops+(and remember an average shortstop is 2 war). If you make it obp heavy, and add in plus defense, decent running game, it shouldn't be a surprise when a guy is worth 3 war.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 07:45 PM (#4401588)

suggesting Kinsler might be traded.


Why would anyone want to owe a 31 y.o. 2B 5/75 after a 92 OPS+ season, where his BB-rate and ISO plummeted?

I wouldn't take Kinsler and his contract for free today.
   33. Walt Davis Posted: April 01, 2013 at 07:47 PM (#4401590)
Horner was extremely fragile, a trait that surfaced very early on, has Stanton evidenced nay signs of that?

He missed some time last year.

But I wasn't suggesting Horner is a projection just that he is right now a fairly similar hitter to Horner -- lowish BA, massive power. He walks more but strikes out a ton more. Horner was fragile but still put up a 282/341/521, 132 OPS+ through age 25. He continued to hit but not at that level through age 28.

Who knows what will happen to Stanton. He wouldn't be the first guy to peak in his early 20s. My memory of his ZiPS career projection was that he would essentially never be a substantially better hitter than he is now. The nice thing about those lists I put up is that his name appears all three years but those lists still contain plenty of players who are HoVG. The less-promising thing is that he doesn't make the top 10 in slugging at 20 or 21.

We know (are very highly confident) that out of those lists, he's not Williams, DiMaggio, Foxx, Ott or Pujols. He Ks way too much to make it into their class (even if the K-rate comes down some). So the HoFer left is Mathews. Killebrew with fewer walks. A RH Thome (probably with fewer walks) or McCovey. His advantage over those guys is his athleticism.

I would trade Profar for Stanton in a second. I'd probably trade Profar and Olt. Profar for Upton I would have to think about.
   34. zonk Posted: April 01, 2013 at 08:10 PM (#4401601)
Stanton would be my first pick among all players in baseball, that I would bet hits over 130 ops+ over his next 2000 plate appearances. He may not be a hof talent, but he's definately an elite hitter now, young enough now to be fairly confident that it won't go away overnight, and experienced enough now to feel confident it isn't a fluke.

I would take him over Votto, Kemp, Miguel Cabrera, Trout, Harper, Braun etc. (for projecting ops+, not as an overall player, but for certainty to repeat his performances over each of the next 4 years, he's high on my list)


I'd put him behind Trout and maybe Harper.


I would trade Profar for Stanton in a second. I'd probably trade Profar and Olt. Profar for Upton I would have to think about.


Right now? I agree... After this season if Profar hits? Maybe not. A switch hitting IF who can handle SS and projects to be a legit 5 tool performer is worth a lot. While it's all projection conjecture - I agree... take the proven player... but if Profar logs say, 2-300 ABs and posts something like his ZIPS projection (264/334/414) or better, I'm not sure I do that.
   35. Walt Davis Posted: April 01, 2013 at 08:14 PM (#4401603)
(and remember an average shortstop is 2 war

Not after the Great Replacement Level Truce of 2013! Looks to be around 2.2 (+/- .2 depending on league).
   36. lonestarball Posted: April 01, 2013 at 08:28 PM (#4401612)
If you make it obp heavy, and add in plus defense, decent running game, it shouldn't be a surprise when a guy is worth 3 war.


Cameron wrote that Fangraphs has him as the 2nd best baserunner in MLB since he came up.

I'm surprised at the negative reaction to this signing in this thread. Elvis is 24, and has been a 3-4 win player since coming up. At $15M, you're paying him to be a 3 win player over the life of the extension. That seems to be a pretty safe bet.
   37. valuearbitrageur Posted: April 01, 2013 at 08:34 PM (#4401614)
Concur. When Ariz was trolling around for a SS and giving away tasty goodies at 50 cents of the $, they should have been offering Andrus for Upton. Probably could have added some magic beans and gotten Bauer too.


The DBacks aren't sad, after all this is what they got for

a) 25 year old Justin Upton, 25 years old, 14 WAR last 4 years despite two injury plagued years.
b) 22 year old Trevor Bauer, rated #13/#18 best prospect by BA/MLB.com
c) 29 year old CF Chris Young 29 years old, 12.5 WAR last 3 years.

1) Cliff Pennington, 29 year old SS with 7 WAR last 3 years (3 WAR last 2 years).
2) Didi Gregorius, 23 year old SS with a career minors OBP of .317 and SLG of .370 rated #80/#63 best prospect by BA/MLB.com.
3) Martin Prado, 29 year old 3B with 15.5 WAR last 4 years.

What would we do with a 24 year old SS who only put up 12.8 WAR the last 4 years? I mean Didi is younger, and Cliff is older, and combined they should put up over 3.4 WAR a year as soon as Selig approves the DBacks new "double shortstop" proposal for payroll limited franchises. And we parlayed 1 year of control over Prado into a "hometown" discount of $40M to lock up the first 4 of his decline years.

And we had no need for the remaining 2 years of control over Chris Young with our new super flexible outfield. Both left and right fielders can play many positions, including first, DH, PH, clubhouse presence, and gritty veteran, just not OF as catching fly balls has apparently been way overrated by saber types.
   38. Squash Posted: April 01, 2013 at 08:47 PM (#4401632)
Supposedly Andrus's deal has a player opt out after year six. I'm going to make a very early prediction and say it will not be utilized.
   39. cardsfanboy Posted: April 01, 2013 at 08:49 PM (#4401635)
I'd put him behind Trout and maybe Harper.


If at the All star Break, either one is posting over 140 ops+, then sure. But I need more than 500 career plate appearances to satisfy my confidence in a players ability to perform over the next five years.

Not after the Great Replacement Level Truce of 2013! Looks to be around 2.2 (+/- .2 depending on league).


I was thinking about that, but wasn't sure where the new level would be at. Of course the 2 war is just a guide, that would be based upon a player playing every inning of every game(in theory)
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 08:52 PM (#4401638)
I'd put him behind Trout and maybe Harper.


If we were doing a total redraft for all of MLB (wih no salary considerations) my top-3 would probably be Trout, Harper and Stanton, in that order.
   41. cardsfanboy Posted: April 01, 2013 at 08:56 PM (#4401640)
If we were doing a total redraft for all of MLB (wih no salary considerations) my top-3 would probably be Trout, Harper and Stanton, in that order.


If we are including defense and running in the equation, sure. My comment wasn't about either of those factors. It was about confidence in Stanton's ability to hit well over the next four years. My confidence is higher with Stanton than it is with Trout or Harper, simply because he has 1500 plate appearances at the major league level where he has performed at that level. His growing pains have mostly been ironed out.

I wouldn't even feel confident in betting that Harper or Trout breaks 130 ops+ this year. I imagine it's likely, but I don't have the same confidence as I have with someone like Stanton. (of course I should have also prefaced my original comment with each and every season, not just averaging out of their numbers)
   42. Darren Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:04 PM (#4401654)
5/100 would be a good deal the Rangers. He's a 4-WAR player already, and if he can just stay around that level, that's a good price for him for ages 26-30.

This deal is like defering $25 MIL of that deal and then tacking 3 years at $20M. It's a really nice deal for the Rangers and it makes him easier to trade if they decide to do that.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:04 PM (#4401655)
If we are including defense and running in the equation, sure. My comment wasn't about either of those factors. It was about confidence in Stanton's ability to hit well over the next four years. My confidence is higher with Stanton than it is with Trout or Harper, simply because he has 1500 plate appearances at the major league level where he has performed at that level. His growing pains have mostly been ironed out.

I wouldn't even feel confident in betting that Harper or Trout breaks 130 ops+ this year. I imagine it's likely, but I don't have the same confidence as I have with someone like Stanton. (of course I should have also prefaced my original comment with each and every season, not just averaging out of their numbers)


I understand. I'm saying even with defense and base running, Stanton is at worst 3rd.
   44. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:06 PM (#4401658)
5/100 would be a good deal the Rangers. He's a 4-WAR player already, and if he can just stay around that level, that's a good price for him for ages 26-30.

This deal is like defering $25 MIL of that deal and then tacking 3 years at $20M. It's a really nice deal for the Rangers and it makes him easier to trade if they decide to do that.


What? You want to pay Andrus $20M? That's crazy. Players with his profile don't get that. Tulo didn't get a $20M AAV.
   45. cardsfanboy Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:10 PM (#4401660)
I understand. I'm saying even with defense and base running, Stanton is at worst 3rd.


Gotcha. Misunderstood what you were saying.

   46. lonestarball Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:15 PM (#4401663)
Tulowitzki got $20M per year for his age 30-34 seasons 2 1/2 years ago, when he was still under team control for four more years.
   47. deputydrew Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:21 PM (#4401668)
I'm surprised at the negative reaction to this signing in this thread.


It's not that the signing is bad, it's that it seems that Texas doesn't have much of a plan for their current assets. They are built to win right now but didn't do anything to help them in 2013. That's a miss. They now have three infielders locked up through 2017 and that's not a good use of resources. If you really like Andrus, then sign him and trade Profar while his value is at its highest. As someone else said, they could easily have picked up Justin Upton (and maybe Trevor Bauer) in a deal for him and a larger deal for Stanton might well have been possible. But now they're looking at Ian Kinsler as their 1B, when they could have kept him at 2B and had Upton (or maybe Stanton) in the OF. It just seems like an offseason without much of a plan.
   48. Darren Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:21 PM (#4401669)
What? You want to pay Andrus $20M? That's crazy. Players with his profile don't get that. Tulo didn't get a $20M AAV.


24-year-old 4-WAR players get that.
   49. Darren Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:24 PM (#4401672)
It's not that the signing is bad, it's that it seems that Texas doesn't have much of a plan for their current assets.


Here's a plan: Kinsler's getting to an age where he's going to probably have to move off 2B, so we'll put one of these guys there and they'll still be good values even at 5 runs less of value. Here's another: all of these guys are on really good contracts, so if we can't fit them all in, we'll trade one of them.
   50. lonestarball Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:26 PM (#4401674)
I'm not sure how signing Elvis to an extension, and refusing to part with Profar in a deal for Justin Upton, constitutes "not a plan."

I suspect their plan is to keep Profar in AAA for 2013, see how Kinsler bounces back from a sub-par 2012 campaign, and see what the trade market for Profar and Kinsler is over the next nine months before deciding what to do with them long-term.
   51. spycake Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:33 PM (#4401678)
Here's another: all of these guys are on really good contracts, so if we can't fit them all in, we'll trade one of them.

Kinsler's on a good contract, even though he's "getting to an age where he's going to probably have to move off 2B" and posted a career low OPS+ last year?
   52. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:34 PM (#4401679)
Tulowitzki got $20M per year for his age 30-34 seasons 2 1/2 years ago, when he was still under team control for four more years.

And Tulowitzki had multiple 6+ WAR seasons, incl 3 in-a-row. Andrus' peak is 4 so far.
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:36 PM (#4401681)

Here's a plan: Kinsler's getting to an age where he's going to probably have to move off 2B, so we'll put one of these guys there and they'll still be good values even at 5 runs less of value. Here's another: all of these guys are on really good contracts, so if we can't fit them all in, we'll trade one of them.


Kinsler had a 92 OPS+ last years, and has averaged 107 over the last 4. He can't move anywhere and be useful.
   54. lonestarball Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:40 PM (#4401683)
Kinsler had a 92 OPS+ last years, and has averaged 107 over the last 4. He can't move anywhere and be useful.


Depends on your definition of "useful" and what you expect him to do going forward, I guess.
   55. lonestarball Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:45 PM (#4401687)
And Tulowitzki had multiple 6+ WAR seasons, incl 3 in-a-row. Andrus' peak is 4 so far.


And Tulowitzki also had a couple of seasons in there where he missed significant time due to injury.

The issue isn't whether Andrus is as good as, or better than, Tulowitzki. The issue is that there are differences in age, in the amount of team control remaining, and in overall inflation since the Tulowitzki deal has signed that makes it problematic to say, well, Tulo got $20M so Andrus is overpaid at $15M.
   56. Darren Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:48 PM (#4401693)
Kinsler's on a good contract, even though he's "getting to an age where he's going to probably have to move off 2B" and posted a career low OPS+ last year?


There's a couple things to address here. First, you're conflating two separate plans. Plan 1 is that you think Kinsler's gotta move off 2B at some point, so you have enough room for everyone. Plan 2 is that you don't think Kinsler has to move, so you deal one of them.

Even putting that aside, though, even coming off his career low OPS+ (scary!), he was worth 2.9 fWAR last year and is projected to be worth about 4.5 WAR next year. For $15M a year, that's a very good value. Push him over to 1B, lop a win off that projection, he's still a fine value.
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 10:09 PM (#4401703)
And Tulowitzki also had a couple of seasons in there where he missed significant time due to injury.

He was coming off 3 6-WAR seasons in a row when he signed. It was before last year.
   58. lonestarball Posted: April 01, 2013 at 10:13 PM (#4401708)
Cots has his contract being signed on 11/30/10. At the time, he was under the Rockies' control through 2014.
   59. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4401721)
Cots has his contract being signed on 11/30/10. At the time, he was under the Rockies' control through 2014.

My mistake. He was coming off 2 straight 6-WAR seasons.

The point remains, his established talent level was much higher than Andrus.

Colo thought they were paying $3-4M per WAR, not $5M+.
   60. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 01, 2013 at 11:32 PM (#4401732)
Supposedly Andrus's deal has a player opt out after year six. I'm going to make a very early prediction and say it will not be utilized.
I'm surprised this hasn't gotten more notice. If it means he can move with four more years left on the deal, the potential cost to the team is something like $50m (he improves by two wins, and wins go to 6m per).
   61. Walt Davis Posted: April 01, 2013 at 11:55 PM (#4401744)
I'm surprised at the negative reaction to this signing in this thread. Elvis is 24, and has been a 3-4 win player since coming up. At $15M, you're paying him to be a 3 win player over the life of the extension. That seems to be a pretty safe bet.

Maybe. But he's now signed through age 33. That's the main negative reaction -- why take that big of a gamble? The second source of the negative reaction is that with him, Kinsler and Beltre all tied up long-term, there's no place for Profar to play (or shift him to CF). It's only thirdly that the reaction is that Andrus, as a light-hitting SS, loses value as soon as he starts to lose speed/range which he's likely to do in his early 30s.

He's definitely in a nice group of players for his age 22-23 seasons. But it's also a group that includes Templeton, Speier, Ron Hansen, Guzman. Even somebody like Reyes from 24-29 (6 of the 10 years covered in this deal) has "only" 21 WAR while being a much better hitter than Andrus has shown so far and going from a good to (by Rfield) terrible-fielding SS.

If this was a 4-year extension and the Rangers didn't have Profar, everybody here would love this extension. Even as is, if this was (oh) the DBacks after trading for him, we might question the length but would understand the motivation. As is, this signing is a huge commitment to a mediocre hitter (but valuable player) that also puts a huge hole in the value of their top prospect.

Of course the 2 war is just a guide, that would be based upon a player playing every inning of every game(in theory)

Actually it's based on 650 PA (give or take). A player who played every game at an average level would get 22 Rrep (+/-2). (I think that's right, somebody here will know)



   62. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: April 02, 2013 at 01:27 AM (#4401766)
If this was a 4-year extension and the Rangers didn't have Profar, everybody here would love this extension.


This. Absolutely this. Andrus - even with a "big" season in 2013 isn't going to add THAT much value above the contract he signed today. And they have him under control for two more seasons AND have Profar in the wings. What's the friggin' rush to sign Elvis? Were they afraid he was going to put up crazy huge numbers and price himself out of their ability to pay?

Ideally, if my favorite team were in this situation they'd let 2013 play itself out and reevaluate in November. IF Elvis takes a big step forward, you extend him and trade Profar or Kinsler. IF Elvis continues being useful, but not elite, you let him play out 2014 and let Profar take over.

This move is just - I don't know - overkill.

Even as is, if this was (oh) the DBacks after trading for him, we might question the length but would understand the motivation.


Towers would immediately try to clone him into 4 SS's to cover the whole infield.

As is, this signing is a huge commitment to a mediocre hitter (but valuable player) that also puts a huge hole in the value of their top prospect.


Yep.
   63. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 02, 2013 at 01:33 AM (#4401768)
What's the friggin' rush to sign Elvis? Were they afraid he was going to put up crazy huge numbers and price himself out of their ability to pay?

A couple of deals this offseason suggest teams are (or believe they are) getting in ahead of the next round of salary escalation. That and the Rangers figuring he might add a little power could have led them to think this was a sweet, smart deal for them, something on the order of, he'll be a 4-5 win player in a $7-8m per win environment. If I thought that and trusted my crystal ball, I'd think this was a coup.
   64. Walt Davis Posted: April 02, 2013 at 01:58 AM (#4401777)
A couple of deals this offseason suggest teams are (or believe they are) getting in ahead of the next round of salary escalation.

Possibly but then why would the players (or their agents) sign? Still I probably agree more than disagree -- the big TV money starts rolling in next year, it's gotta go somewhere and the owners would prefer it in their pocket. Alternatively it means that teams in 2020 won't bat an eye shelling out $15 M a year for a good backup IF.

In isolation, this isn't a horrible signing. I'd rather have the Posey deal (and I wasn't wowed with that one either). And I have some trouble understanding a baseball world where locking up the next 10 years of Elvis Andrus is a priority. But, yes, there's a reasonable chance this will work out well (Profar aside at least) and it probably won't be a disaster.

Y'know, it's even less crazy than I thought. Ages 30-33, 90% of games at SS ... 2+ WAR players are a bit less impressive than I thought:

Patek 9
Rollins 9
McMillan 9
Furcal 10
OCab 11
Rey Sanchez 11
Bowa 12
Aparicio 14
Vizquel 16
Campy 18
Belanger 19

Sanchez, Bowa, Belanger, McMillan and Patek were all under 80 OPS+; Campy, Aparicio and Vizquel were in line with where Andrus is currently. OCab with more walks, Campy with fewer steals -- not unreasonable outcomes for Andrus in his 30s.
   65. Baldrick Posted: April 02, 2013 at 02:26 AM (#4401781)
Andrus is the sort of player who will likely age well. He's a decent player now. He's still young enough that his peak might still be ahead. The dollar/win ratio is probably higher than I have trained myself to think, and it could grow significantly.

Those are all justifying arguments.

But I still keep coming back to: 'what was the rush?' You've got him for a few more years no matter what. If he goes all Ellsbury 2011 on us this season, well, yeah this deal will look great. But even if that happens you still might be better off just enjoying a few great (relatively low-priced years), and then letting someone else eat the cost of his decline. And if he stays more or less the same, then sign a long-term contract next year or trade him and play Profar.
   66. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 02, 2013 at 02:30 AM (#4401783)
Possibly but then why would the players (or their agents) sign?


Good point. Since I don't follow baseball finances all that closely, is it possible there's an asymmetry of information involved? Also, I know more than a few people whose approach to life is, anything that isn't already in existence isn't worth considering. I've seen people take somewhat unfavorable deals simply because they were reluctant to wait for a few other pieces to fall into place, even when those pieces seemed inevitable. That may play here, but it's a WAG, obviously. Still, if you haven't been playing ball all that long, and you're not a star, 120 million dollars has to look like a whole lot of cash.

In isolation, this isn't a horrible signing. I'd rather have the Posey deal (and I wasn't wowed with that one either).


This gives me pause for thought. I had put the Posey deal in the file with the heading, "Team might break even, won't really win, has a good chance to lose" while putting Andrus under "Team will probably at least break even, only loses if Andrus has serious, ongoing injuries, and might do very well."

The list you made is telling. Andrus doesn't have to be particularly impressive towards the end to make the deal perfectly acceptable.
   67. zonk Posted: April 02, 2013 at 08:06 AM (#4401807)
Upon further reflection, what really gives me a sad is that there's probably no way the Cubs can piece together a package to get Profar.
   68. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 02, 2013 at 09:28 AM (#4401845)
Andrus is the sort of player who will likely age well.

Why? Lot's of slick fielding middle-infielder shaven't.

His skill base is not particularly broad. His skill set is speed and defense (which relies on speed).

He doesn't walk that much. He strikes out a fair bit. He has poor power, adn doesn't hit for a particularly high average.

Andrus might add power and patience as his speed and defense fade (which has probably already started), and sustain his current level of production in a different shape.

But, then again, he may not, and be a util IF by age 30.

Edit: Here's a B-Ref PI comp list for SS, through age 24, with at least 1000 PA, positive D, moderate average (.250-.285) and low power (<100 ISO).

http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/Ftyfp

It's not a list I want to be locked into in their 30's.
   69. ColonelTom Posted: April 02, 2013 at 09:48 AM (#4401859)
Odds are that Andrus maintains a good chunk of his value throughout the contract, particularly if he opts out after 4 years. Nate Silver's BP piece on aging curves pegged the typical SS peak around 26, but they're still at almost 80% of peak value at age 32 before a steeper decline phase hits. Even at 36, they're typicaly at 50% peak value.

   70. The District Attorney Posted: April 02, 2013 at 09:53 AM (#4401864)
Even at 36, they're typicaly at 50% peak value.
That seems odd, considering there are only a handful of 36-year-old starting shortstops in the history of baseball.
   71. BDC Posted: April 02, 2013 at 09:56 AM (#4401867)
Wait, I've got a better comps list :) This is shortstops at ages 22-23 only, positive defense, top 15 all-time ranked by WAR:

Player              WAR/pos OPSRfield   PA   Age  SB  Pos
Cal Ripken             18.1  145     34 1442 22
-23   2   *6
Alex Rodriguez         13.3  135      3 1320 22
-23  67 *6/D
Jim Fregosi            13.1  126     22 1274 22
-23  21   *6
Joe Cronin             12.1  122     19 1287 22
-23  22 *6/4
Lou Boudreau           10.6  110     21 1387 22
-23  15   *6
Charlie Hollocher       9.2  123      9 1090 22
-23  42   *6
Rabbit Maranville       8.8   88     35 1243 22
-23  46   *6
Alan Trammell           8.6  104     17 1115 22
-23  22   *6
Robin Yount             8.1   95     16 1171 22
-23  27   *6
Elvis Andrus            7.8   90     15 1376 22
-23  58 *6/D
Troy Tulowitzki         7.6  100     34 1103 22
-23   8   *6
Pee Wee Reese           7.6   82     34 1330 22
-23  25   *6
Jose Reyes              7.3   98      3 1436 22
-23 124   *6
Garry Templeton         7.3  102      4 1371 22
-23  60   *6
Donie Bush              7.3   90      6 1298 22
-23  89 *6/


Duelling comps lists don't prove much, but this one tends to make the Rangers look less delusional. For one thing, Andrus won't turn 25 till August, and for another, his OPS+ has improved in each of the last two seasons (largely because the context has receded, but that's a real improvement). I don't think he's going to be Yount or Trammell, or even Tulo, but shortstops his age who have already proven they can be ML regulars over several seasons are rare. And to worry that his defense and speed are fixing to nosedive when he's 24 years old is extreme; you might as well never sign anybody, because nobody's getting any younger :)

Like several here, I'm not sanguine about Andrus being worth umpteen million nine years from now, but he's a good player at the moment, and the prevailing philosophy in MLB at the moment seems to be that you pay for the moment by overpaying for the distant future, when who knows what will have happened, zombies, asteroid.
   72. ColonelTom Posted: April 02, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4401883)
That seems odd, considering there are only a handful of 36-year-old starting shortstops in the history of baseball.


A fair point, and one that Silver's article doesn't directly address. I suspect his sample size for the position declines in the later years, leaving only the better-aging shortstops in the pool, which would skew his results.

That said, Andrus will only be around 33 at the end of the 8-year extension (assuming he doesn't opt out after 4 years). He's likely to maintain a fair chunk of his value through that age - at least enough to keep it from being a disaster on the back end of the deal.
   73. deputydrew Posted: April 02, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4401894)
double post
   74. deputydrew Posted: April 02, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4401924)
Is there a list of opt-out contracts in the last 10-15 years? Here are some that come to mind:

JD Drew (with LA)
Vernon Wells (Toronto)
AJ Burnett (Toronto)
Alex Rodriguez (Texas)
CC Sabathia (Yankees)
Rafael Soriano (Yankees)
Zack Greinke (Dodgers)
Elvis Andrus (Rangers)

Did any of the other recent mega deals include opt outs? (Votto, Pujols, Verlander, Mauer, Posey, Adrian Gonzalez, Crawford?)


   75. zonk Posted: April 02, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4401928)
JD Drew (with LA)
Vernon Wells (Toronto)
AJ Burnett (Toronto)
Alex Rodriguez (Texas)
CC Sabathia (Yankees)
Rafael Soriano (Yankees)
Zack Greinke (Dodgers)
Elvis Andrus (Rangers)

Did any of the other recent mega deals include opt outs? (Votto, Pujols, Verlander, Mauer, Posey, Adrian Gonzalez, Crawford?)


I don't know if it rises to 'mega level' -- but Aramis Rameriz' Cubs contract had an opt-out clause that he exercised... he got less per year, but did get the multi-year contract he wanted from Milwaukee.
   76. Zach Posted: April 02, 2013 at 11:21 AM (#4401941)
$130 million over 10 years for a hitter with a lifetime OPS+ of 83.

Willie Bloomquist must be crying himself to sleep tonight.
   77. DL from MN Posted: April 02, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4401963)
Orlando Cabrera made $51M in his career. Can't see a whole lot of difference between him and Andrus, it's just inflation.

That makes me wonder about what is happening faster - revenue/salary inflation or age related decline 32-36? My guess is it's pretty much a wash.
   78. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 02, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4401997)

Is there a list of opt-out contracts in the last 10-15 years? Here are some that come to mind:


All Japanese FAs. And I think Aroldis Chapman has one.
   79. ColonelTom Posted: April 02, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4401999)
$130 million over 10 years for a hitter with a lifetime OPS+ of 83. Willie Bloomquist must be crying himself to sleep tonight.

You can't say that without noting that Andrus is only 24. At that age, Jimmy Rollins had played just over two big-league seasons with a 93 and 85 OPS+. (Andrus' last two seasons have been 89 and 91 OPS+.) Rollins went on to put up 42.9 bWAR from 2003-12. If Andrus can post 2/3 of that, he'll be worth the contract.
   80. deputydrew Posted: April 02, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4402055)
If Andrus can opt out after four years, isn't this contract (almost by definition) a good four year contract or a bad eight year contract.
   81. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 02, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4402071)
If Andrus can opt out after four years, isn't this contract (almost by definition) a good four year contract or a bad eight year contract.

I guess it could be a fair 8 year contract, especially if he missed a year to injury early on, and then had some strong years in 5-8.

But yeah, no way Texas gets a bargain for more than 4.
   82. DL from MN Posted: April 02, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4402106)
Don't the Yankees need a shortstop? Wait for Cano to become a Dodger and deal Kinsler and Andrus to the Yankees next year.
   83. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 02, 2013 at 09:59 PM (#4402668)
The opt-out makes this contract go from acceptable to poor.
   84. Walt Davis Posted: April 02, 2013 at 10:59 PM (#4402765)
This (Posey comment) gives me pause for thought.

I like the Posey deal more because Posey has a chance to be great. If Posey is still catching and putting up a 140ish OPS+ at 31-32, that could be a great contract for the Giants. Even if he's a 130 OPS+ 1B by that time, it's probably break-even. More upside, I just didn't see enough upside to make it worth signing now.

The Andrus comps really aren't that scary. Looking at the modern ones from 24-33:

Smalley 23 WAR (despite disappearing defense)
Burleson 20 WAR (despite nothing from 31 to 33)
Russell 22 WAR
Aybar 17 WAR 24-28
Aparicio 34 WAR
Vizquel 29 WAR
Bowa 19 WAR

Kubek, Listach, DeJesus, Izturis and Guillen weren't worth a lot (a guy like Thompson has no business in a list with Andrus). So it's 5 guys who didn't do much, 4 guys who put up 20 WAR in 10 years (average) and 3 guys (on pace for) about 30 WAR.

Bob's list is a more appropriate list and the worst modern guy on it is probably Templeton who still put up 17 WAR from 24-33. I can't see any reason to think Andrus won't continue to be a 3-WAR SS for the next 5-7 years at least. And as my earlier list showed, you don't exactly have to be a slugger to put up good WAR as an early 30s SS. He's been much better at young ages (well, in the majors at least) than guys like OCab, Bowa, Patek, Burleson so those guys do look more like his downside 24-33. He's been a much better hitter and apparently baserunner than the young Vizquel (not that we would have expected Vizquel to improve so dramatically). He looks like a better-hitting, worse-fielding Aparicio so far. He probably won't turn out as good as Aybar has been the last few years but he's been better at 22-23. Campaneris (what an erratic career) is not out of reach but isn't every realistic either (44 WAR from 24-33).

25 WAR looks quite doable to me.

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