Elvis Andrus reportedly reporting to White Sox Friday

Given how far removed we are from turning any suggestions into actions, it’s always refreshing when everything makes so much sense that it can’t help but happen.

In this case, Leury García joined fellow shortstops Tim Anderson and Danny Mendick on the injured list Wednesday, leaving only overmatched rookies Lenyn Sosa and Romy González to pick up all the playing time.

But at the same time, the Oakland Athletics released Elvis Andrus because they didn’t want him to trigger a $15 million vesting option for 2023, but they also didn’t want him to rot on the bench of a team tearing it down. He didn’t deserve that fate based on his performance — he’s been an average shortstop this year in all respects in 2022 — so the A’s released him to let him find a better situation on the open market.

“It’s no secret that Elvis wasn’t really happy with the direction for himself, and I totally understand that and respect it,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “I think the decision to designate Elvis wasn’t taken lightly by any measure because of what he provides for this team in terms of leadership, in terms of veteran experience. … But then you look at Elvis and where he’s at in his career, and you always want maybe what’s best for Elvis. And I think honestly, Elvis is going to land somewhere. He’s going to be on a team in contention.”

The White Sox qualified as such, and they have just about the best kind of situation. They’re contender who could offer him all the playing time he can handle, which is ideal for a guy who’s going to be a free agent after the year.

It made too much sense not to happen, and quickly. Jeff Passan says it’s happening, and quickly.

Andrus, who turns 34 on Aug. 26, hit .237/.301/.373 with eight homers and 24 doubles for Oakland. It’s his best work at the plate since 2017, but the time in between has been a massive struggle. He posted just a 76 OPS+ over his last three years with the Rangers as he entered the second half of an eight-year, $120 million extension. With two years left on the deal, they sent him (and a lot of cash) to Oakland in a swap of regrettable contracts, with Khris Davis heading to Dallas.

All that is behind him now, as the White Sox will only be on the hook for a prorated league minimum the rest of the way. They can use his non-negligible bat, average glove and 1,872 games of experience at shortstop the rest of the way, regardless of whether Anderson can return in time.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Augusto Barojas

Sox got better than they were before Garcia went on the DL, simply by picking up a league average player off waivers. There is no reason he should play even when he comes back, other than giving someone a day off.

ParisSox

This gives a whole new meaning to Elvis night at Guaranteed Rate Field

soxygen

I can’t believe that I am this happy about signing a guy in mid-August who turns 34 this month and has hit .237/.301/.373 this season…but I think I am reacting more to the Sox front office just doing the right thing than I am to the prospect of Andrus’ production.

Wayne

Just below league average bat and not bad defense will be a benefit when a team is down the top 3 players on the depth chart at SS (the hardest non-catcher defensive position, so lowest replacement level).

dongutteridge

The best the Sox could hope for to improve their playoff chances would be Leury being out for the season so the Russa can’t play him.

gibby32

That is ridiculous. Leury is a better bet than Sosa or Gonzalez. The team has now signed Andrus, and that is a better option. What is he goes down? Leury has been used way too much by LaRussa and not in the best way. But in the absence of Tim, he was the best shot before they signed Andrus.

Augusto Barojas

And yet at the end of the day, Leury has been a net negative WAR every time he has taken the field this year. Yes better than Sosa or Romy, for now. But god awful, and one of the worst position player starters in MLB by every metric available. All it took is a league average player off waivers to be a significant improvement.

And right now, if Andrus is healthy, they are a better team with Garcia on the DL than off, because Tony is such a douche that nobody can trust him to not force Garcia into the lineup in utterly stupid ways that make no sense to anybody.

Last edited 3 months ago by Augusto Barojas
gibby32

The only thing that you say that I disagree with is that I believe that for the next six weeks, Leury is a better option than either Sosa or Gonzalez even in a bench role and even with LaRussa as the manager. But I would rather move on from Leury at the end of the year, an option that is likely off the table given his contract.