MLB Breaking News
For the first time this offseason, the Oakland Athletics made MLB breaking news, acquiring two-time All-Star shortstop Elvis Andrus, catcher Aramis Garcia, and $13.5 million in cash considerations from the Texas Rangers. The Athletics gave up DH Khris Davis, catcher Jonah Heim (Oakland’s #9 prospect), and RHP Dane Acker.
After losing out on Marcus Semien to the Blue Jays, the Athletics needed a shortstop, and Andrus is a cost-effective option at $28 million for two years, along with a $15 million player option for the 2023 season.
Andrus’ Potential Impact
Andrus has a career 86 wRC+ and is coming off of an abysmal 2020 where he slashed .194/.252/.330 with three homers in 29 games, but he showed improvements in his chase rate while holding an 81.6% contact rate. He is a slightly above-average defender with a career 26.6 UZR.
For a look at Elvis Andrus in the best uniform in baseball, Athletics fans should check out this jersey swap by @izzyrendell on Twitter.
With his excellent glove at shortstop paired with elite defense at the corners, the Athletics will keep the impressive defense that helped carry them to the playoffs for the last three years.
Andrus is probably going to be a step down from Marcus Semien, but Andrus will be a solid fielder to shore up the left side of the infield and provides Oakland with the financial flexibility to lock up one of Matt Olson or Matt Chapman if the team wishes to do so.
The Other Piece
Aramis Garcia is a catcher with just over a full year of service time under his belt. In 19 games with the San Francisco Giants in 2018 (a year notorious for little offense and low homer totals), Garcia slashed .286/.308/.492 with four homers, good for a 117 wRC+ with average defense.
In a similar stint of 18 games with the Giants in 2019, Gracia was notably worse, hitting under .200 with only two bombs and a 31 wRC+, but with better defense than he showed in 2018.
His framing for both years was above-average. As a backup catcher behind ultra-talented young phenom Sean Murphy, Garcia should be serviceable, but offensively inconsistent facing Major League pitching on a consistent basis.
Khris Davis’ Departure
This MLB breaking news isn’t all good news. The Athletics’ lineup will miss Khris Davis, whose five years with the team came with 158 long balls, 418 RBI, and a remarkable four-year stretch where his batting average was exactly .247.
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