Rangers make unique deal with Andrus official

ARLINGTON, Texas — Six more years? Ten years? Eleven years?

It doesn’t really matter to Elvis Andrus how long his new contract with the Texas Rangers lasts. All Andrus knows now is that his future for now is with the Rangers.

That became official Thursday when Andrus signed an eight-year contract extension with the Rangers that includes more options than a Las Vegas buffet. The deal will begin once Andrus’ current contract ends following the 2014 season.

The eight-year, $120-million pact has an opt-out for Andrus following the 2018 season and a team option for the 2023 season.

But that way’s too far in the future for the 24-year old Andrus to be thinking about now. He’s just happy to know his foreseeable future will still be in Texas.

“I still think I’m going to stay here for a long time,” Andrus said. “Everybody knows I love this city. Hopefully we can stay focused on what we want — to win a championship. I don’t really think about anything else right now. It’s a fair deal for everybody and that’s what matters.”

The new Andrus deal will pay him $15 million annually for six years beginning in 2015. The final two years he’ll make $14 million and the club has a vesting option for 2023. He would receive $15 million in 2023. Andrus also got a $2 million signing bonus, which means he’s guaranteed four years and $62 million in the deal.

The contract, which also includes a 10-team no-trade clause for Andrus beginning in 2016, has plenty of interesting facets. Guaranteeing themselves six more years of Andrus, which includes this season and next season under his current deal, was worth it for Texas to make the deal.

“The contract, the way it’s designed for both sides, if he does what we thinks he’s going to do and stays healthy that opt-out will most likely come into play,” Texas general manager Jon Daniels said. “That’s why it’s there. It’s not something we usually do. We look at it as it’s an unusual deal that works for both sides for unusual circumstances.”

The unusual circumstance Daniels was talking about was the chance to lock up a two-time All-Star who is one of the best shortstops in the game. Andrus is one of only 11 shortstops in history with multiple All-Star appearances before the age of 24.

The Rangers and Andrus’ agent Scott Boras began working on a deal last fall. Boras, who heaped praise on Texas manager Ron Washington for developing Andrus, has a history of letting his clients go to free agency and test the waters. But Andrus made it clear that he wanted to stay with the organization that gave him a chance to be a major leaguer after they traded for him as part of the Mark Teixeira trade in 2007.

“You never know how these things go,” Boras said. “We kept listening. We did a lot of talking on this for a long time. This has been going on for a good couple of years. I give them a lot of credit because they were very open to a lot of thoughts and considerations, as was Elvis too.”