SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Elvis Andrus was in the clubhouse for about 15 minutes before the topic of his contract came up. It might seem odd for a guy with two years left on his deal, but with Jurickson Profar's locker sitting within arm's length, Andrus' future is a big question. Andrus says his agent, Scott Boras, has talked to the Rangers about a long-term deal. Things sound very preliminary.
Profar, who turns 20 on Wednesday, got a taste of the big leagues last year and is ready for more. Whether that comes when camp breaks or later this year, it's clear the club feels he's got a bright future in the middle of the infield. And his natural position is shortstop.
Plenty of factors will drive the ultimate decision for Andrus and the Rangers, but for both, economics is the chief one. If you're Andrus, you want to get a big contract while you can. He's young -- only 24 -- and has four years of starting experience under his belt. He's a good defender, has hit for a consistent average and can steal bases at a position of value in the big leagues. He's got Boras as his agent. So it's set up for Andrus to hit a huge payday on the open market, assuming he stays healthy and consistent the next two seasons.
For the Rangers, paying top Boras dollar with the cheaper Profar waiting in the wings doesn’t make financial sense. They want Andrus back, but at a hometown discount. Boras doesn’t usually give away coupons.
There have been Boras clients who have signed long-term deals to stay with their clubs. Jered Weaver did it recently with the Angels. But Andrus didn’t sound like a guy ready to do that in the clubhouse today.
“It’s a lot of different things (to consider),” Andrus said. “A lot of those guys are married and they have kids. For me, it’s a little different. I’m still super young and I have no wife, no kids. I’m going to continue to play and let things flow.”
We’ll see if anything comes of these talks, but at this point Andrus is focused on preparing for the season. He’ll do it with Profar right beside him.
* Besides Andrus’ arrival Thursday (and he had spikey hair, by the way), Leonys Martin showed up in the clubhouse, as well. And get this: Martin’s voice seems a bit lower. But he hasn’t spoken at length with the media yet. He will soon. Martin and Craig Gentry, who was at camp earlier this week, are the two leading contenders for the center field spot.
* It’s the second day of pitchers and catchers working out. That means another group of pitchers threw off the mound. That included Derek Holland (10 minutes, because he’s ramping up for the WBC), Matt Harrison, Neal Cotts and Jason Frasor, among others.