Once Andrus wasn’t traded both within the offseason or on the commerce deadline earlier this month, the writing was on the wall for Andrus, whose contract incorporates a vesting participant choice for the 2023 season that will develop into kick in upon reaching 550 plate appearances. The rebuilding Athletics unsurprisingly had no real interest in permitting that choice to vest, and the mere presence of that choice has made the potential for buying and selling Andrus appear each complicated and frankly unlikely since this previous winter. Now that he’s been launched, nevertheless, it’s a moot level; the choice gained’t vest an Andrus will merely develop into a free agent at season’s finish.
Andrus can now signal a brand new deal that doesn’t require a brand new membership to pay him $15MM in 2023 if he reaches 550 plate appearances on the season. (He’s at present at 386 journeys to the plate and would’ve wanted one other 164 to succeed in that threshold.) Any workforce that indicators Andrus would wish solely pay him the prorated league minimal for any time spent on the Major League roster; the A’s will stay on the hook for the remainder of this yr’s wage.
It’s been a good season for Andrus on the plate and with the glove. The 33-yr-outdated (34 subsequent week) is not the hitter, however he’s turned in a good .237/.301/.373 batting line (97 wRC+) with eight house runs, 24 doubles and 7 stolen bases. Defensive metrics on Andrus are one thing of a combined bag this season; Defensive Runs Saved pegs him six runs beneath common, however neither Ultimate Zone Rating (2.6) nor Outs Above Average (-1) is sort of so bitter on his glovework. It’s truthful to say that Andrus is clearly not the premium defender he was early in his profession, when he was thought to be one of many sport’s prime gloves at any place.
With Andrus out the door, the A’s will flip shortstop over to a participant who has simply that sort of defensive prowess proper now, within the early phases of his personal profession. Nick Allen, 23, has managed only a .215/.279/.316 slash by his first 173 journeys to the plate within the large leagues, however he’s thought of probably the greatest defensive shortstops within the minors and has a extra palatable .266/.371/.358 slash in 206 plate appearances for Triple-A Las Vegas, the place he’s walked virtually as usually as he’s struck out (13.1% versus 16.5%).
Allen will possible by no means hit for energy within the large leagues, however with common taking part in time, his stroll charges, velocity and bat-to-ball expertise may result in some 20-steal seasons with stable OBP marks and plus defensive contributions. If the dearth of energy proves too limiting for Allen to hit like an on a regular basis participant, the glove and above-common velocity ought to make him a helpful utility infielder who can present wonderful protection at shortstop, second base and third base.