Elvis Andrus, White Sox reuniting for $3 million

Elvis Andrus
(Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports)

A few days ago when I was writing about the White Sox’s weirdly Romy González-heavy preseason marketing, I left open the possibility that the White Sox were posturing in hopes of solidifying second base with a more certain acquisition.

Unless this is all leverage to get Elvis Andrus to lower his demands to a price Jerry Reinsdorf is willing to pay, it looks like González is Plan A.

Sure enough, Elvis Andrus is indeed back. Jeff Passan broke the news, and Bob Nightengale followed up with the financial terms (one year, $3 million).

Andrus was a good fit for the White Sox’s middle infield all along after excelling on the South Side over the final month and a half of the 2022 season. He hit .271/.309/.464 with a whopping nine homers over and 11 stolen bases (in 11 attempts) over 43 games. He was as perfect of a fit as it seemed when the A’s released him around the same time Tim Anderson and Leury García hit the injured list last August, and with the Sox having such uncertainty in the middle infield in 2023, it would’ve been terrific to have him hang around.

The hang-up: If Andrus definitely wanted to find a starting shortstop job somewhere, the White Sox couldn’t offer him that. Fortunately for the Sox, the offseason was so shortstop-heavy with Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson that any team with ambition could find a fixture, versus a stopgap whose late season eruption might be written off as a fluke.

Now the White Sox get to find out how real it was, and if it turned out to be a fluke, the White Sox still needed somebody who forced González and Lenyn Sosa break down the door, rather than be handed a job they weren’t ready for. And should Anderson get hurt again, Andrus is a sounder option for the infield’s toughest job than González, Sosa or Leury García.

The White Sox’s 40-man roster is full, so the announcement may be waiting on a corresponding move.

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
Become a patron at Patreon!
71 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Trooper Galactus

At long last, our low expectations have been met!

PauliePaulie

His strengths are redundant and his weaknesses already pervade the roster.
A cynical $3mil attempt at fan appeasement that does nothing to materially improve the team’s chances.

Joliet Orange Sox

I’d like to see some more cynical attempts at fan appeasement that involve a starting pitcher and a right fielder.

Andrus is cheap and limited but he sets a floor at 2b and backup ss that were not there before so the signing is good news if not big news.

As Cirensica

He might even force the DFA’ing of Leury which is a bonus.

Augusto Barojas

I can hardly bring myself to want them to succeed with the garbage offseason they’ve had, following the 2 prior ones. Hahn and Reinsdorf are so smug, cheap, and phony that they deserve the fruits of their non-existent merits.

Joliet Orange Sox

This idea of rooting against the Sox is increasingly common on this site to the point where it sometimes feels like rooting for the team is the minority view here.

I can’t bring myself to root for Clevinger and I’ve had many issues with other individuals over the years but I always root for the team. I’m a man born when JFK was president for whom rooting for this team is a complicated habit of a lifetime. Whenever I get to the point where I’m on the edge of rooting against the team (some readers know TLR was not a favorite of mine going back over 40 years), I remember when I was a kid and I argued with other kids in playgrounds about the Sox vs. the Cubs and my mom and aunts spent evenings cleaning up after dinner with the Sox game on the radio.

The world has changed a lot but I expect kids still argue about the Sox vs. the Cubs and parents still have the game on in the background after dinner and many of those people sanely follow the team only during the season and they don’t have strong opinions about Jerry, Kenny, and Rick and I think rooting against the team is rooting against all those people enjoying a summer diversion. I think I’d stop following the team at all before I started rooting against it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Joliet Orange Sox
mikeschach

I’m right there with you (+ a couple of years), trying hard to reconnect with my childhood fandom, when it felt like they won the grapefruit league every spring and it was finally going to be their year. Let’s try and enjoy the fact that the Sox improved their depth and supported a young player who came out as gay – all on the same day!

roke1960

I agree. I’ll always root for the team- that doesn’t mean I’m supporting Jerry and Rick and their incompetence, smugness, cheapness, etc. When they take the field, it’s all about the players. It’s still a kid’s game and I’ll always have that childlike feeling about baseball. Nothing against this great site and all the fantastic writing done here, but if I was against this team or stopped following them, I wouldn’t even want to read articles about them. But I know I’ll never get to that point. GO SOX!!

ParisSox

In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, we are rooting for laundry (the uniform)

Last edited 1 year ago by ParisSox
gibby32

Good sense is your hallmark. Kudos.

Bonus Baby

Definitely can’t root against the Sox, I feel like fandom was bestowed on me much more than it was chosen — though I was born in 1971 and my first memories were of Chet Lemon and Claudell Washington.

I think my options this year are basically follow/watch them with excitement and anticipation, or just turn away entirely if it becomes too painful.

Last edited 1 year ago by Bonus Baby
Weino17

If others played even close to Andrus’ level after he got here we may have actually sniffed the division.
What games were you watching?

dwjm3

Signing makes sense…he should at least keep second base from being a complete below replacement level hole…

Yolmer

He was one of the players that looked like he wanted to win last year too. I give him credit for looking and playing like he cared.

gibby32

I agree, but it also is that he looked as if he played with joy. Grifol wants to change/establish a productive culture, and this signing will help him do so.

a-t

This is good, and for a low price. He’s not likely to overperform like his crazy 6 weeks last year, but they need more depth so badly.

Now, if it’s not too much, to ask, I’d like a 4th OF and two SPs of this 1.5WAR ish caliber, and none of the domestic abusers please.

Last edited 1 year ago by a-t
gibby32

Weirdly, this signing put me on the Billy Hamilton bandwagon as fourth outfielder. Hamilton and Andrus appear to be the kind of veterans that will have a positive effect on the rest of the roster.

Augusto Barojas

Hamilton has a cumulative WAR of less than 1 since 2018. He is not a fourth outfielder, except on a minor league team.

gibby32

Oh.

Foulkelore

It’s interesting. If health could be guaranteed for Benintendi/Robert/Colas, then one of the guys they signed (Marisnick/Hamilton/Reyes) would be fine as the actual bench, 4th outfielder, who doesn’t have to play much and can give them some defense/speed off the bench. However, their issue is going to be if one of the starters gets hurt (or if Colas struggles). They really need another outfielder who will be ok to play every day, and I don’t really want any of those three doing that. Other than them, it’s Leury or throwing Eloy/Sheets in the outfield every day, and I don’t like those options either. Andrus helped solidify the first line of depth in the infield. I would love an equivalent addition to the outfield (and starting pitching depth, as a-t is absolutely correct).

gibby32

I pretty much agree, but they do not need to do that with respect to the opening day roster.

texag10

I honestly don’t think there are playoff teams that are currently built to withstand a major injury to an outfielder. Fangraphs has the Dodgers with Chris Taylor and Jason Heyward as their backup OFs but they are also starting Trayce and David Peralta so I’m not exactly sure they have more than 3 starting caliber OFs in that group. The Mets have been throwing money around left and right and their bench is Darin Ruf and Tommy Pham. Houston is rolling with Jake Meyers as their 4th OF. I’d love to have a 2021-hyped Adam Eaton on the bench but I think if a player like that existed on the open market, they’d be snatched up already because a lot of teams aren’t super set at that position.

To Err is Herrmann

Good news, sensible move. I don’t know how to react to such a thing.

As Cirensica

Yeah, we forget how to as they come few and far in between

Hulksmash

Now we’ll win 81 games instead of 79!

FishSox

And the DFA envelope please……

RayHerbert

Wouldn’t putting Hendriks or Crochet on the 60 day IL solve the roster problem?

Foulkelore

Odd, not that Sousa is any big risk or loss if someone does claim him, but why not just 60-day Liam?

Augusto Barojas

If you can squint hard enough to ignore that prior to last year he hasn’t had a WAR over 2 since 2017, and has never played 2b before. Mediocre depth added to a mediocre team.

Compared to Segura, who they have no excuses for not signing, this is a move out of the trash heap.

a-t

“never played 2B before” is not really a worry given that he’s still above average defensively at SS. there’s a few actions that are different, but the positions are quite similar, SS just requires much more arm strength. spring training should provide sufficient reps to get used to the keystone for a good defender like Andrus

Augusto Barojas

I doubt Andrus will seamlessly turn double plays and be instantly adept at 2b, entering his age 35 season. Certainly better to have him at 2b than TA though, which was a truly awful idea.

I hope this does not mean he will start full time at 2b and that we won’t even get to see much of Romy or Sosa. That would have been fine if they got Segura or somebody much better than Andrus, but if Andrus reverts to his 2018-2021 production, it’s hardly going to be worth not getting to see if Romy or Sosa can actually play. Now watch them get some mediocre schmuck outfielder and start him instead of Colas, too. About the only things of interest to me were seeing Colas and whoever they were going to start at 2b. Maybe it’s not a given that Andrus is handed the starting 2b job, but it’s pretty pitiful that they were actually able to sign a 2b for less than the 5M they gave Harrison a year ago if he is the starter. Players who sign 3M one year deals should not be starters on any team serious about contending for anything. This ownership just blows more and more with each passing month.

a-t

You don’t do anything terribly different at 2B to turn double plays than at SS, it’s just mirrored. The basic footwork and actions are pretty identical, and I’m not sure that “age 35” is a factor here; I’d be concerned if he was already really declining defensively at SS, but he’s not.

Anyways, TA will need rest at times and I’m sure they’ll get Romy work too. Sosa might start the year in Charlotte and get called up when one of the infielders need replacing.

Weino17

Isn’t how well he played far more relevant than how much they signed him for? Andrus blows Harrison away and has totally earned this opportunity.

Augusto Barojas

Andrus was good in his stint with the Sox last year. Other than that he does not blow Harrison away. Harrison actually had a higher cumulative WAR in 2020/21/22 than Andrus. They’re probably about the same level, really. Better than an uproven rookie but very mediocre.

Neither one is good enough to be a starting player on a team that could claim to be serious about competing. But they are both plenty good enough to start on a team that is faking.

Weino17

Completely disagree with your final paragraph regarding Andrus.
Are you actually saying you had a similar expectation level for when he came to the plate versus Harrison? Please.

FishSox

At least he knows where he should go when the ball is in play…unlike Leury.

HallofFrank

Segura who *checks notes* has had one season over 2 WAR since 2018?

The team is mediocre in no small part because they lack depth. If you add enough mediocre depth to a talented but shallow team, they just might start being better than mediocre.

Augusto Barojas

Segura’s cumulative WAR in 2020/21/22 is 6.7, compared to 3.3 for Andrus. Segura is a lot more solid, with a lot more upside, and a lot less mediocre than Andrus. For 5M more they could have had a much better player, but even 8M is too much to pay for a starting 2b on this team.

HallofFrank

I merely pointed out that by your criteria Segura doesn’t fare much better.

Segura is probably the better bet, sure. I don’t know why you think Segura has “a lot more upside” (he doesn’t) and they would’ve had to guarantee Segura probably $15m more (at least) to get him instead of Elvis. I’d have preferred Segura, but I don’t think the gap is wide and I’m pleased with Elvis.

ShorewoodWhiteSoxFan

You’re the biggest idiot who ever comments on this site. Day after day. Just give up on the White Sox like you’ve been talking about previously. We’re so sick of hearing the same song from you, day after day. It gets old.

peanutsNcrackerjack

So where does this put total salary for 2023? More or less than 2022, I wonder.

bobsquad

About $4MM less.

peanutsNcrackerjack

Maybe Rick Hahn gets a bonus for this accomplishment.

calcetinesblancos

Nonsensical move from a FO that rarely makes sense. I’d also personally much rather see the kids play.

HallofFrank

This move is a lot of things but “nonsensical” isn’t one of them. Surely even Romy Gonzalez’s mom understands this move.

calcetinesblancos

I think it is with Leury also on the team. I like the way Elvis plays and he’s a great backup to TA, but he doesn’t have experience at 2B and he doesn’t get on base. He’s also not a long-term answer to anything, and thus he’s just preventing a younger players from getting experience.

HallofFrank

Josh said on the podcast that the White Sox 2B plan was the worst projected position in all of MLB. I cannot possibly fathom how signing a stable 2B who projects better than anyone the Sox currently have is “nonsensical.”

You may think they should have done something different. Okay, fine. But there is clearly sense behind it.

Qubort

If Sosa or Romy are killing it, I’m sure at bats will be found for them. I think this move takes pressure off them. I still hope one of the them emerges and earns the starting job by end of the year, but glad it’s not a necessity going into the season.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

Agreed. The team still has more downside than upside. Another need “addressed” in the cheapest way possible, rather than with quality.

Look at what other teams have done, and the Sox sign their starting 2b for 3 million. It’s all relative and about competition, and the Sox are not competing. This changes nothing, other than not seeing the kids play.

texag10

This is the exact shit I’ve been railing against all season. We’ve been complaining about paper thin depth for the past month and how we don’t have a credible major leaguer at 2B and RF to start the year. Now that we’ve signed Andrus who is a credible major leaguer, we have more depth at the middle infield to protect against the injuries that everyone is sure are going to come and it’s a bad move because it’s the player we signed isn’t an All Star. There are legitimate things to bitch about with this team and this offseason but JFC you people will bitch about anything. If Jerry came out and said tickets to every home game this year would be free, I’m sure there would be 100 comments complaining about how he’s only doing that to get a tax write off and put more money in his own pocket and we should all boycott the games.

Qubort

There were better options earlier in the offseason, but this is pretty good at this stage. This is still the weakest division in baseball though it doesn’t move the needle a lot; it is an improvement. The kids will get plenty of chances.

upnorthsox

I wouldn’t count on it. Beside the starting 9 you have Seby, Leury, Sheets, and one of Romy, Lenyn, or Hanser Alberto and I wouldn’t be too quick to write off Alberto as he can play 3B. If they did carry a 14th position player it would be a OF, probably Reyes(though I’m still holding out for a Burger+ for Laureano). But I doubt it, especially early on, with an inexperienced manager, a roster inflexible pen, and no established closer there’s a better chance they’d carry 14 Ps instead of 12. With good health luck we may not see either Romy or Sosa ’til September.
To be honest, I still don’t believe our next true 2B is in camp yet so who gets chances now isn’t very relevant.

gibby32

On the position player side, I would not be surprised if another move was in the offing. Burger+ for Laureano would be delightful. But right now, I believe that Seby, Garcia (because I don’t think the team will eat 11M), and one of Hamilton, Reyes and Marisnick are locks, with Sheets probably being the last spot. Despite what Hahn says, I do not see Romy on the opening day roster unless they are able to rid themselves of Leury, which is unlikely.

upnorthsox

They could really use a RH power bat for the bench so between Romy and Sosa look for who is showing power this ST. If neither then that opens it up to Alberto and/or a trade. Garcia is fine for what he is, a switch hitter with defensive flexibility. The below average power of this offense is its achilles but there’s only so much you can do. I’m still not sure how they’re going to get Sheets ABs.

Augusto Barojas

It’s not just their lack of power, but their poor hitting against RHP that is their real achilles heel. It’s been that way since and including 2020. Andrus does not address, nor does Benintendi even adequately replace Abreu’s production vs RHP. The Twins and Guardians have all RHP starting pitchers in their top 5. Not a coincidence, the Sox kill lefties, and only lefties. Other teams notice the Sox weaknesses and strategize to exploit them, while the Sox ignore and do not address. They need a lefty power bat, not a right handed one. Or a right handed one that hits righties. You know, like Springer or Semien.

Colas had better be real good, they put themselves in the position of counting on him to be the answer to multiple problems. Even if he is a big positive surprise, it likely won’t be enough with no depth anywhere.

bobsquad

In theory, this addition turns “middle infield inexperience” as a weakness into “middle infield depth” as a strength. It doesn’t raise the ceiling of this team, but the median outcome is better. Plus, Andrus is about as fun a player as a 34 year old second baseman can be.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Honestly, that last part is my favorite part of this move. This team was so joyless last season, and Andrus is a guy who plays hard and has fun. I remember a time when it looked like other guys on the team were having fun, too. It would be nice to see that return.

ChiTownMax25

I’ve been as critical as anyone about this front office, but this is a good move. For whatever Andrus is, he’s unlikely to be completely terrible and unplayable. E.g., he’s unlikely to strike out 18x more than he walks, as Romy did in his cup of coffee last year.

ShorewoodWhiteSoxFan

Excellent points made by a smart White Sox fan.

BenwithVen

I appreciate that having Andrus will allow the team to take advantage of Romy’s defensive versatility and for Sosa to get more reps at AAA. Otherwise, it’s very much a “meh” move.

roke1960

I agree. Now there is absolutely no reason for Leury to be on the team. Andrus starts at 2nd, and the bench is Romy, Seby, Sheets or Burger and a 4th of (Marisnick, Reyes or Hamilton). Sosa gets to start in AAA. Leury should be DFAd right now.

Marty34

Andrus and Anderson on the field at the same time with Anderson getting the nod at short is another example of this organization not doing all it can to win games.

RayHerbert

How in the world do you figure that?

Marty34

Andrus is the better SS and they are putting him at 2B.

Augusto Barojas

I have my doubts that this will work out well, but it seems like a better idea than putting TA at 2b to me.

King Joffrey

Like the A-Rod, Jeter situation of yore (with a slight difference).

bobsquad

Across any sport, good luck telling a star athlete under contract he needs to play a different position.

ShorewoodWhiteSoxFan

It’s time to put down the crack pipe before you come on Soxmachine to make ridiculous comments like you just did.