Andrus deal proves all is right with Rangers
HOUSTON – There was a certain Dallas Cowboys feel immediately after the Texas Rangers lost their season opener 8-2 to Houston Sunday night at Minute Maid Park.
The sky looked to be falling around the Rangers, at least as far as social media goes, despite the club having 161 games remaining in the regular season.
The offseason, which was a miserable one in some people’s eyes because of the lack of free-agent signing and front office power struggle, was followed up by an Easter egg laying Opening Night.
And then the news broke that reminded everyone that the Rangers are nothing like the Cowboys. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal was the first to report that the Rangers and shortstop Elvis Andrus were close on a deal that could keep him under contract with the Rangers for the next decade.
According to a source, Andrus was having a physical Tuesday. The new deal, which would begin following the 2014 season, will include a $2 million signing bonus.
It’s a move that keeps Andrus from departing via trade either this summer, this offseason or next summer before he would have become a free agent. It keeps him from heading to the New York Yankees, which is where some feared he’d be heading.
It also keeps in line with the Rangers’ philosophy of locking up the core young talent and building around them. The deal, which general manager Jon Daniels declined to comment on, just makes sense for the club.
The Rangers now have contract control over their four infielders through at least the 2015 season. They also have flexibility should they decide to move Ian Kinsler to the outfield to create room for Jurickson Profar.
Once the Andrus deal gets down, Texas will have five of its six All-Stars from last season under contract through at least the 2015 season.
Of the 11 pitchers on the Opening Day staff, nine are under team control through at least the 2014 season with two exceptions being Jason Frasor and Derek Lowe. Only one of those pitchers – Joe Nathan – is older than 29 and the Rangers have a club option on him next year.
People can complain about the Rangers letting Josh Hamilton or Mike Napoli go to other teams through free agency. They can complain about the team trading Michael Young.
But what they can’t complain about is general Jon Daniels and his staff sticking to its plan. Building the team around young players and pitching is what helped turn the Rangers into a club that’s made the postseason in each of the last three years.
The Cowboys have nothing on that.