The 2020 offseason has been very quiet thus far for the Texas Rangers. There is, however, one significant report that has really rippled the water this week in Arlington. It was announced this past Monday that shortstop and 12-year mainstay Elvis Andrus will see reduced playing time in 2021. This gives Gold Glove winner Isiah Kiner-Falefa the chance to be stationed in the six-hole every day.
This move by the Rangers comes as a shock to some people, while others may not find it as surprising. Elvis Andrus is a fan favorite. There are no doubts there, but he has slowed down over the past couple of seasons. This year, the 32-year old hit .194 with three home runs, seven RBI, and 11 runs scored. It is a safe bet that this was not an easy decision for GM Jon Daniels, and the rest of the front office, but they want to take steps toward becoming a winning ball club, and this could be a giant first step.
One of the first questions you have to ask surrounds Kiner-Falefa. He is a great ballplayer who has shown that he can handle the infield. He netted his first career Gold Glove this year, and the question is did that Gold Glove sound the alarm for the Rangers to give him the starting job at shortstop going forward? There is also the question of Andrus’ salary. He is owed $28 million over the next two seasons. As much as Rangers fans don’t want to think about it, could he be headed for the trading block to free up room on the payroll? Time and circumstances will tell.
Other Infield News
The Rangers are making another switch in the infield. This one comes at second base as Rougned Odor will be heading to the bench in favor of Nick Solak. It looks like the Rangers want to work with Odor to make him better. Let’s hope it works. In the meantime, Solak should be entertaining to watch at second next year. He has held his own at multiple positions in recent years. Opening Day can’t come soon enough.
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