According to MLB Trade Rumors, Elvis Andrus of the Texas Rangers signed an extension that will make him a Ranger at least through the 2014 season. Now, this isn’t huge news for Tigers fans, and likely means absolutely nothing to the Tigers organization in the end. However, I can’t help but notice that there is a logjam in the Texas Rangers organization up the middle. Couple that with the Tigers need for up the middle players, and now we have something to discuss.
About 2 weeks ago, I finished up my farm system rankings on this site, and Texas topped that list. You can check that out here if you would like. The major strength of the Rangers organization is at SS, the position that Andrus plays. What this extension does, is effectively block the Rangers top prospect SS Jurickson Profar, who is widely considered one of the top prospects in the game. At least for another year or so anyway.
Profar, by all accounts however, is the type of player that teams make room for one way or another.
I would assume the plan the Rangers are going to employ is to move either Profar or Andrus to 2nd base eventually. Ian Kinsler, one of the best 2nd baseman in the game, has his contract coming up after 2012. The Rangers do have a $10M dollar option they could exercise on Kinsler for 2013, which they would be wise to do. That means regular playing time for Profar would have to wait until 2014 at the very least. With Adrian Beltre pretty much entrenched at 3B through 2015, the Rangers have some decisions to make. Who do they cut loose?
I may have answered that question already. They could just pick up the Kinsler option for 2013, and move either Andrus or Profar to 2nd base, letting Kinsler walk after the 2013 season. The question would be, why would the Rangers want to do that? Ian Kinsler just went 30/30 last year for the Rangers and finished 11th in the MVP voting. Assuming that Josh Hamilton sealed his own fate with a relapse recently, and won’t be getting top dollar from the Rangers, the 29 year old Kinsler should be the Rangers top extension priority at this point.
Kinsler is a good athlete, so there could be potential for him to make a move to the outfield. Even if that happens, the Rangers still are stuck with a logjam in the infield. Another one of their top prospects is 3B Mike Olt. He is clearly blocked by Beltre, and could be a candidate for a trade at some point as well. The Rangers also have several other SS and 2B in their system that could be ready in a couple of years as well. They include; Luis Sardinas, Rougned Odor, Leury Garcia, and Luis Marte. All of that depth on top of Profar means at some point, the Rangers are going to have to part ways with some of these guys.
The Tigers needs at 2b, SS, and 3B are pretty glaring. Jhonny Peralta‘s 2 year deal comes up at the end of this season. Brandon Inge might not last through this season, and 2B has been an annual question mark as of late.
I have no idea which of the Rangers guys would be available for a deal over the course of the next season or so. What I do know is, their kind of depth makes them an ideal partner in the future to make trades with. Andrus’ extension makes sense for the Rangers. He is one of the best young SS in the game.
It also makes sense that the Tigers make some phone calls about some of their other players. After all, they can’t play them all can they?