The Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics are swapping bad contracts. A trade, announced on Saturday, will send Elvin Andrus to The Bay and Khris Davis to the Rangers.
Andrus was Texas’ longest tenured player and by quite a distance. This will be the franchise’s first season without the veteran shortstop since 2008.
It’s a sore loss for the Rangers faithful, though one they can come to accept given his drop in production. Davis’ circumstances in Oakland are similar – the 33-year-old DH has slumped over the last two campaigns, and his contract had become a burden. Davis is owed almost $17 million in 2021.
This trade is about finding a Marcus Semien replace for the Athletics. The money kicked in by Texas makes it a costly deal, even though they get off the long-term commitment to Andrus (who’s contract could run through 2023). These Rangers are not close to being good. Trading away Lance Lynn showed their limited ambitions for 2021 – this was effectively a move to buy a couple of prospects.
Davis was a perennial candidate for home run titles. Those days might be behind him, unfortunately. Injuries and age have taken their toll, resulting in an OPS+ of just 83 over the last two seasons. Unable to play the field, one can’t help but wonder whether Davis will again be searching for a new team before long. The alternative, of course, is hoping for a bounce back and maybe flipping him at the deadline. At the very least, it would be fun to see Davis and Joey Gallo crushing balls in the same team.
Heim is a defense-first catcher, who replaces Garcia as depth in the Rangers organization. Acker is a bit more exciting, having been selected in the fourth round by the A’s last year. He’s got a selection of pitches and appears relatively polished for a player just out of college.
Despite two big names changing teams, this was far from a blockbuster. It potentially checks boxes for both front offices, but there’s little to get too excited about here.
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