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Diamondbacks Release Two-Time All Star After Invite to Big League Camp

The Arizona Diamondbacks released Elvis Andrus on Friday. Andrus presumably opted out of his minor league contract after being told he would not be part of the Opening Day roster. He went for 2-for-17 at the plate this spring. The 35-year-old will now be on the lookout for a new club that needs infield depth coming off the bench. Arizona also optioned Pavin Smith and Andrew Saalfrank to Triple-A Reno.

It’s not a surprise that Andrus couldn’t find a deal coming off an underwhelming season, as this marks his career’s first minor league contract. He was a cornerstone prospect for the Texas Rangers, who signed hi to a pair of extensions- a three-year, $144 million pact covering the 2012-2014 seasons and an eight-year, $120 million deal for the 2015-2022 seasons.

Diamondbacks Release Elvis Andrus

Andrus signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks earlier this month. Even before Arizona signed the two-time All-Star, the club announced that Geraldo Perdomo would be the team’s everyday shortstop to begin the season. The Diamondbacks will use in-house options over Andrus, including Emmanuel Rivera and Jace Peterson. Andrus spent the 2023 season with the Chicago White Sox, who signed him in 2022 following his release by the Oakland Athletics.

Andrus hit well down the stretch for the White Sox in 2022, posting a .271/.309/.464 slash, but he didn’t replicate that consistency in 2023. He opened as Chicago’s primary second baseman who hit .251/.304/.358 in 406 plate appearances.

The Status of Smith and Saalfrank

Saalfrank began 2023 at Double-A Amarillo. He didn’t allow an earned run in 10 1/3 innings over 10 regular season appearances. He made 11 postseason appearances and allowed two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. That also included pitching 2 1/3 innings over three World Series games. As for Smith, he batted .188 over 69 games last season for the D-Backs.

Main Photo: © Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports


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