Elvis Andrus ready for added leadership

DALLAS -- Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus knows that with the departure of Ian Kinsler, he'll have to take on even more responsibility as one of the key cogs on the 2014 Rangers.

"Before he (Kinsler) left, I was going that direction," Andrus said. "That is something that even with Ian here, I was still trying to get better at that. I want to be a leader. I will be a leader. But I know there are steps in front of me that I have to take and do for me to be to be a leader. There are still guys with more experience than me on the team that I respect and those guys I still follow -- Adrian (Beltre) and now Price -- and they make everything easier for me. But I will do what I'm capable to step up and be that kind of player."

The reality is the departures of guys like Michael Young and Ian Kinsler have shoved Young into more of a veteran role. He's got one of the longest tenures in Texas of any Ranger still left in the clubhouse. Andrus was pleased that he was able to bounce back from a struggling start to the season and finish the season strong. Andrus hit .242 in the first half and .313 in the second.

Andrus was vacationing in Hawaii with Kinsler and Beltre when they all started finding out about the deal. Andrus said it was a bit awkward for maybe 30 minutes and then they went back to "playing around."

"It was shock," Andrus said. "Ian is one of the guys that gave me a great welcome -- him and Michael (Young) and the rest of the guys that were here. He won't be there next to me playing second. It's shocking and sad and crazy. But it's a business. I told him I wish him the best, except playing us in the playoffs.

"Sometimes it's going to happen. I've been traded before (Andrus went from Atlanta to the Rangers organization as part of the Mark Teixiera trade in 2007). I know how it feels."

Andrus expressed excitement for next season and was pleased to see the club add some power to the lineup in Prince Fielder. Andrus was at the stadium earlier on Monday and saw Fielder's No. 84 jersey. Andrus, who wears the lowest number on the team (1), liked that Fielder chose a high number and one that is his own.

Andrus spoke before hosting an event to benefit the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas, a charity that he's worked with over the past few years.