Although Elvis Andrus has been Oakland’s Athletics regular shortstop this season, his playing time has recently been curtailed as he and rookie Nick Allen have started games alternately during the past week. Andrus spoke with Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle about the circumstance and didn’t appear to try to hide his annoyance. “Everybody knows I’m an everyday player. So doing this, it’s not fun for me,” Andrus said. “Of course I’m upset, I’m pissed about it. But like I said, the best I can do is stay positive and wait for my turn and be ready whatever happens.”
Although it’s understandable that Elvis Andrus is frustrated, this circumstance has unhappily felt probable owing to his contract for quite some time. In December, when Oakland Athletics payroll-cutting actions were still only rumours, MLBTR’s Steve Adams examined the situation. The Rangers originally gave Andrus a contract with a final guaranteed year of 2022, but there is also a $15MM club option for 2023.
However, if two requirements are completed, the club option would change to a player option. The first stipulation is that Andrus must be traded before the contract expires, which he already did when the Rangers traded him to the A’s in 2021. The second prerequisite is for Andrus to make 550 plate appearances in this country in 2022.
“I don’t expect Elvis Andrus to be happy about it.”- says Mark Kotsay
Recently, MLBTR’s Anthony Franco examined numerous vesting possibilities across the league, including the Andrus situation, finding that the shortstop was on track to reach the required 556 plate appearances. The A’s plainly don’t want to pay Andrus $15MM next year if they don’t have to given that they just made significant measures to brazenly reduce as much payroll as possible. Andrus is undoubtedly having his finest season since 2017, but his hitting percentage is still below average.
Elvis Andrus batting line of.237,.298 and.365 results in a wRC+ of 94, which is 6% below league average. Given that he hadn’t posted a wRC+ above 76 in the previous four seasons, that represents a nice improvement. Andrus would have cause for a complaint if the Oakland organization, which is trying to minimize costs, sabotaged his opportunity to play in order to keep the option from vesting.
They will probably keep to their narrative, though, that it has less to do with him and more to do with allowing young players to play throughout the final stretch so that they may be assessed for their potential future contribution to the rebuild. “Elvis and I spoke about how we proceed forward with getting Nick as many opportunities as possible, getting these younger players a chance to show what they can do for our future, for their future,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay told Kawahara. “I don’t expect Elvis to be happy about it. But he’s a pro,” said Kotsay