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March 31, 2013

Elvis Andrus, Rangers nearing eight-year extension

The Rangers and shortstop Elvis Andrus are nearing an eight-year contract extension that would pay the two-time All-Star $120 million, according to a baseball source who confirmed a Fox Sports report.

That source said that the sides are so close that perhaps only a physical is in the way of completing the deal.

A second source said that general manager Jon Daniels and agent Scott Boras have discussed a new deal for Andrus, who can become a free agent after the 2014 season. The same source, though, said that eight years might not be desirable.

An eight-year deal, if it were to begin after this season, would make Andrus a free agent at age 33. If the deal were to begin after his current contract expires after 2014, he would be 34 and entering the twilight of his career. Andrus made his major-league debut as a 20-year-old in 2009.

The eight-year issue can be overcome with a clause that would allow Andrus to opt out of the deal.

Daniels and Boras declined comment.

Any deal that keeps Andrus for the long term would immediately call into question the Rangers’ plans for shortstop Jurickson Profar, the top prospect in baseball. Scouts agree that Andrus is the better defensive player but see more offensive potential in Profar.

During the off-season the Rangers contemplated moving second baseman Ian Kinsler to first base to create a spot for Profar at second base. Kinsler, though, balked at making the move in the first year of his five-year, $85 million deal, and the Rangers signed free agent Lance Berkman to be their designated hitter and kept Mitch Moreland at first.

The Rangers have three All-Stars in their infield — Andrus, Kinsler and third baseman Adrian Beltre — and Profar will open this season at Triple A Round Rock.

-- Jeff Wilson



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