The White Sox are in agreement with free agent shortstop Elvis Andrus, ESPN’s Jeff Passan ( Twitter link ) reports. He is expected to join their Major League team in Cleveland tomorrow. Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported last night that the Sox are in talks with Andrus, who was released by the Athletics yesterday.
The 33-year-old Andrus (34 next week) is a natural fit for the White Sox free agent Tim Anderson as he continues to rehabilitate a torn ligament in his left hand for the next three to five weeks. Andrus isn’t a premier defender at this point in his career, but he’s more natural at shortstop than young Lenin Sosa, who has recently been filling in for Andersen and managed just a .118/.143/.235 slash in an admittedly small 35 plate appearances. Andrews’ .237/.301/.378 line isn’t a huge improvement, but it’s just shy of league average in 2022.
That’s a far cry from Andrews’ .297/.337/.471 peak in 2017, where he smashed 20 homers and swiped 25 bags to make a quality defensive contribution at shortstop. Inserting a slightly below-league-average veteran shortstop into the lineup wasn’t something the Sox couldn’t do a few days ago. Andrus to the fold.
Defense Works Set Pegs Andrews’ glove works at an abysmal -6 this season, but his Ultimate Zone Rating (2.4) and Outs Over Average (zero/average) are even better. Although the defense is a bit sub-percentage right now, Sosa is thought to be ill-equipped to handle the second baseman shortstop, looking at reports, and early returns (-2 DRS, -2 OAA in just 41 innings) suggest otherwise. . Andrus should be a stable option at the position.
Before his release, Andrus was in the final season of an eight-year, $120 million contract with the Rangers. The White Sox will spend the rest of the season paying off a league-low, A.S. That previous contract included a $15MM player’s option when Andrus reached 550 plate appearances — he’s currently at 386 — but that’s a big deal now that he’s been released from his previous contract and signed a new deal with Chicago. He will become a free agent at the end of the season.
It’s been a disappointing season in guaranteed-rate field, with the Sox dealing with long-term absences of key players like Lance Lynn, Eloy Jimenez, Yasmani Grandel, and now Anderson (to say nothing of the short IL stints of Luis Robert, Lucas Giolito, and others). Things haven’t gone the way the front office had hoped when assembling this enviable young core, but the Sox have played better ball of late and, despite their early season woes, are just two games and one game behind the division-leading pitchers. Twins of the second place. The American League Central has to be the tightest three-team competition in Major League Baseball.