Considering that the Oakland A’s jettisoned the vast majority of their talent this offseason, it is clear that they have no interest in paying anyone close to $15 million. And yet, they may end up on the hook for that amount for Elvis Andrus.
Andrus has a specific player option in his contract. If he reaches either 1100 plate appearances between 2021 and 2022, or 550 plate appearances in 2022, he receives a $15 million player option. Considering his lack of production over the past few years, it is a certainty that he will opt-in should the option vest.
Time to keep an eye on Elvis Andrus
Chances are, he will come close. Andrus has 230 plate appearances entering Tuesday’s action, putting him on pace for approximately 548 plate appearances this season. He has appeared in 63 of the A’s 68 games, averaging 3.65 plate appearances per game. One blowout in the A’s favor could get Andrus to that magic number if the current pace continues.
While the A’s would love to avoid that payout, Andrus has also been one of their better hitters this year. Considering that he has an 86 OPS+ with 16 doubles and three homers in those 230 plate appearances, it speaks volumes as to their offensive struggles.
It also means that the A’s cannot yet take him out of the lineup without it being obvious that they are looking to avoid that option. That is, unless Andrus begins to slump. As he has just eight hits in his 57 plate appearances over his last 15 games, that scenario is a distinct possibility.
That makes the next few weeks worth watching. If he continues to struggle, there would be no reason not to give Nick Allen more of a look. That could also happen soon anyway as other players in the lineup just are not producing. However, none of them have the same earning potential that Andrus does for 2023.
Elvis Andrus is currently on pace to come close to reaching his vesting option for 2023. It may come down to the next few weeks.