MLB Trade Rumors: Elvis Andrus is heading to the Oakland A’s for Khris Davis, per Ken Rosenthal on Twitter. The Texas Rangers would be sending their (by far) longest-tenured player, and the last link to the World Series teams, to the A’s in a swap of bad contracts. Per Jeff Passan, the A’s are getting
another player Aramis Garcia in the deal, and the Rangers are getting Jonah Heim and Dane Acker in return. The Rangers are apparently sending cash $13.5 million in this deal.
Elvis, who has $28 million still due on his current deal, with a $15 million vesting option for 2023 that is guaranteed if he is traded, also has 10-5 rights, so he presumably has already agreed to waive his no trade clause, and I suspect is also waiving the right to have the final year of his deal guaranteed as part of this trade. The A’s have been in the market for a shortstop, with Marcus Semien signing elsewhere, and thus gives Elvis the chance to once again be the everyday shortstop for what is potentially a contending team, rather than having a bench role on a rebuilding club.
If you’re reading this y’all probably already know that I love Elvis Andrus and wanted him to retire a Texas Rangers. This makes me sad. It also kind of makes me a little relieved he’s getting a chance to play everyday elsewhere, rather than being stuck in a bench role here, and that if he continues to fade it won’t happen where I’m watching it every day.
As for Davis, despite his well-earned reputation as a Ranger-killer, he’s been terrible the past two seasons, and as a 33 year old DH with one year at $16.75 million (left on his deal, he’s being sent to get a bad contract off Oakland’s books, not because, I suspect, the Rangers have any interest in him. With Mike Foltynewicz needing a 40 man roster spot, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s immediately designated for assignment.
I’ll update as more info becomes available. I’ll also be writing about Elvis Andrus at length, I suspect, though that’s not going to be happening right away.
UPDATE — Okay, some analysis.
Elvis is owed $28 million (or $43 million, if the 2023 option has kicked in/does kick in). The Rangers are paying $13.5 million to the A’s, and taking on Davis and his salary, the Rangers are, if I’m reading this right, taking on $30.25 million in this deal — in other words, $2.25 million more than what they would have paid if they’d just released Elvis.
So what are they getting?
Heim, 25, is a switch-hitting catcher who was a 4th round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 2013. The O’s traded him to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2016 for Steve Pearce, and the Rays sent him to Oakland in December, 2017, as the player to be named later in the trade that sent Joey Wendle to Tampa.
Fangraphs had Heim at #13 on their mid-season rankings for the A’s, saying he is a good receiver with good contact ability but not much power. BA had Heim ranked #8 in the A’s system prior to the trade, with quality reviews on his glove and less glowing reviews on his bat, with a major league backup/second division regular projection. Heim was a backup in 2020 in the majors, slashing .211/.268/211 in 38 plate appearances for Oakland.
Acker, who turns 22 on April Fool’s Day, was born in College Station, spent time at Rice, San Jacinto College and the University of Oklahoma, and was a 4th round pick of the A’s in the 2020 draft. He’s one of those relatively polished college arms who can throw several pitches but aren’t seen as having a ton of upside, though BA said in their pre-draft write-up of him that “he has a clean delivery, is durable and knows how to pitch.”
Heim takes the place of Aramis
Ramirez Garcia, the former Giants catcher who the Rangers claimed on waivers earlier this offseason, and who is now Oakland-bound, while Davis takes the place of Elvis, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Davis is dropped from the 40 man roster shortly.
UPDATE II — The deal is official.