Assistant general manager Thad Levine stressed Wednesday that the organization sees Andrus as a member of its core and wants to keep him for longer than simply his arbitration years.
The deal signed Wednesday includes a $750,000 signing bonus and breaks down like this:
2012: $2.375 million
2013: $4.8 million
2014: $6.475 million
It means the Rangers and Andrus avoid any arbitration hearings for the next few years, but the deal does not include any of Andrus' free agent years. The deal does give the club some cost control for three years, but still gives Andrus the chance at a major payday after 2014 (don't get me wrong: $6.475 million in 2014 is certainly a major payday, but he could be set to get a lot more).
The Rangers still don't have any members of the "core" group signed past their current contracts. They do have a club option on Ian Kinsler for 2013, but Mike Napoli and Josh Hamilton are up after this season. Andrus and Nelson Cruz are up after the 2014 season and there are other players the club would like to sign up long-term that still aren't signed (like Derek Holland, for instance).
"We would like to extend some of our core players into free agency," Levine said. "We’ve always felt that in spring training it’s sometimes easier to have those conversations. The player is around the team and we’re around the player more. We’ll continue to have those conversations and continue having them with Elvis and his representatives."