While the Oakland A’s are expected to trade anyone making a respectable salary, there are some players that may well be unmoveable. Stephen Piscotty has not produced since his first season in Oakland. Elvis Andrus has been a complete disappointment for the last four seasons, losing his starting job in 2020 before being sent to Oakland.
But this is not a typical offseason. Some of the top shortstops in the game are available in free agency, which would theoretically fill that hole for teams needing help at the position. But not every team will be able to afford those players.
A possible chance to trade Elvis Andrus
Enter the Oakland A’s and Elvis Andrus. At first, Andrus may seem to be an odd possibility for those teams, particularly as he is due $14.25 million in 2022 and has a $15 million vesting option if he reaches 550 plate appearances in the coming year. However, the Rangers are paying $7.25 million of his salary for next season, cutting that price tag by a significant amount.
The A’s would likely need to do something similar in regards to his vesting option. If a team was to acquire Andrus, he would likely be pressed into a starting role, causing him to surpass that amount of plate appearances. The A’s may need to include a clause in any trade that they would pick up a portion of that vesting option.
Chances are that any return would be underwhelming. The A’s may get another bad contract in return, albeit one without a vesting option that expires after the 2022 season. Or they may get a mediocre prospect, someone that could be considered minor league filler at best.
But the goal is to slash payroll. Andrus, at least before arbitration occurs, is one of the highest paid players on the team. His salary, while not outrageous this season in terms of the A’s costs, could be next year. It is a matter of addition by subtraction, especially as it comes to the bottom line.
Elvis Andrus seemed destined to be a part of the Oakland A’s no matter what. However, there may actually be a chance he can be traded.