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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.