What If? With Mad Matt: Yankees Trade For Elvis Andrus


Derek Jeter has exited stage left and the Yankees have a hole to fill in the infield. No, despite how it may sound like a good idea, the Yankees cannot leave the shortstop position empty for the rest of time (Not going to lie… I have seen this suggested before). So now the Yankees will be exploring options to fill Jeter’s void and an interesting name has been linked to them quite often this off-season. That would be Texas Rangers’ shortstop Elvis Andrus. Despite two rough seasons, he is still one of the better sh0rtstops in baseball, and Texas may be ready to trade him off. Today we ask, what if the Yankees were to strike a deal for Elvis Andrus?

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At What Cost?

Making a trade for Andrus will be costly. The 26-year-old is owed $120 million over the next 8 years on a contract extension that doesn’t kick in until next year. Luckily for the Yankees, they can take on that contract without much thought and it will lower the prospect talent they have to give up. If the Yankees agree to eat the entirety of his contract, they likely won’t have to give up their top prospects like Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Eric Jagielo, Greg Bird or Ian Clarkin.

They could probably acquire Andrus for Gary Sanchez and one or two prospects like Dante Bichette Jr., Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams and even a big leaguer or two like David Phelps or Austin Romine (Well, part-time in his case). Are the Yankees willing to give all that up while taking on his salary? Perhaps. The shortstop market isn’t the best and they may be willing to take that risk given the opportunity to acquire a very good shortstop in his prime. As always, cost is an important factor in every negotiation.

Bounce Back:

Yes, he’s had two rough seasons at the plate but he’s due for a bounce back. While he’s never been a home run hitter (Only 20 home runs total in his 6-year career) the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium would definitely help him improve there. He’s still an above average defender at the shortstop position, and would be a nice fit as the Yankees’ shortstop. After a miserable 2014 campaign that saw him hit just .263 with 2 home runs and 41 RBI, Andrus can only go up.

Energy Boost:

Elvis Andrus is a very energetic player. He’s enthusiastic and excitable and would bring big energy to the Yankees’ roster. That’s nice to have considering the Yankees squad was lifeless for most of the season until they received a well needed boost from guys like Marin Prado and Chase Headley. Andrus is well known for his “million dollar smile” and his yells of joy when something big happens. Energy is a huge part to any team and having someone like Andrus standing at short and rallying the troops would be very nice.

Lincoln No More:

Last year Andrus spent most of the year sporting some interesting facial hair. The beard made him look a lot like former President Abraham Lincoln and the Internet had a field day with it. Eventually he shaved it off and looked normal, but he kept growing it back. Why? Who knows? But coming to the Yankees, he’d finally hack off that thing for good and put an end to his campaign for 16th President of these United States. Unfortunately, we won’t be having as much fun as we did last year, but he we will still have our memories. It was quite the beard.

Final Thoughts:

The Yankees making a deal for Andrus is a good idea. But, the Yankees can’t overspend prospect-wise. They can’t surrender their top prospects for him. But, it’s very rare when you can acquire a young shortstop under club control for the better part of a decade. If the right deal comes along, it’s a deal that they have to jump on. Andrus would be a great addition to the roster for the 2015 season.