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April 01, 2013

Andrus passes physical as deal nears completion

Shortstop Elvis Andrus spent part of his off day Monday passing a physical exam as one of the final hurdles toward making an eight-year, $120 million extension final. Work, though, is left to be done, said a baseball source, and the Rangers are hoping to finish it off this weekend for the home-opening series.

Baseball sources have confirmed that there is an opt-out clause in 2018, halfway through the deal, as well as a vesting option for a ninth year. The Rangers are expecting Andrus to opt out, but they were also anticipating that he would test free agency after his current deal expires after next season.

Instead, the extension, which also includes a $2 million signing bonus, will start once the current contract ends and ensure that the Rangers will have Andrus for the next six seasons.

A source said late Sunday that the Andrus camp is uncomfortable with the thought of him playing out the full length of the deal and becoming a free agent in the twilight of his career.

Andrus will become the fourth-highest paid shortstop in the league once the deal is finalized. His long-term presence in the Rangers' infield brings into question the futures of second baseman Ian Kinsler and top prospect Jurickson Profar.

Kinsler is in the first year of a five-year, $80 million contract, and he balked at a move to first base in the off-season so soon into his new deal. The Rangers could have outfielders David Murphy and Nelson Cruz hit free agency after this season, so Kinsler could be asked to replace either one of them.

The Rangers could also use Profar as the centerpiece in a trade for All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton or 2012 Cy Young winner David Price, both of whom are expected to be available as their free agency approaches.

-- Jeff Wilson

 

 

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