The Texas Rangers have made it official. They have signed shortstop Elvis Andrus to an eight-year extension worth $120 million.
The deal is tacked onto the end of the 24-year-old infielder's current deal which had this season and next to run. So, Andrus will be under Texas' control for at least the next 10 years.
The Rangers have insisted that they want to keep both Kinsler and top MLB prospect Jurickson Profar, also a shortstop. But it's difficult to figure how they can keep both of them happy under the same roof.
The easy answer is to move the lesser fielder to second base. But second basemen don't usually make anywhere close to the money that shortstops get. So it's tough to imagine Texas paying Andrus as much cash as they just promised him only to suck up a big chunk of the payroll by overpaying him to play second base. On the other hand, how is Profar going to feel about being moved out of THE premium position on a baseball diamond to a spot that often is filled with less gifted players?
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He might be willing to do it for a year or two to get into the big leagues. But I can't see Profar being willing to throw away 10 years of his career by playing out of position -- or five years for that matter. By the time he'd hit free agency it may significantly damage his earning power to be recast from a shortstop to a second baseman. He knows that -- and I'm sure his agent knows it, too.
Profar has already switched positions once for the Rangers. When he was signed, according to scoutingbook.com, he was a power pitcher who played other positions when he wasn't on the mound. Texas thought he had too much talent to be limited to playing every five days, so the club asked him to become a full time shortstop.
The Andrus contract might make the Redbirds more tempted by Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
Including the remaining time on his current, three-year contract Andrus is guaranteed $131 million over the next 10 years while Tulowitzki has eight years and $140 million left on his current deal. Both are excellent defensive players But Tulowitzki is undoubtably the better hitter of the two.