Welcome back Elvis Andrus
As soon as I even thought about jumping on the Romy Gonzalez train, the White Sox put that to rest. They did that by bringing back Elvis Andrus on a major league contract in which he will play 2B. The position was definitely a question mark and this seems to answer that question. But what should we expect from this signing?
Let me start with what we should not expect. We should not expect Andrus to come in and light it up like he did with the Sox at the end of last year. He hit 9 HR in just 43 games for a line of .271/.309/.464 for a very nice 116 OPS+. He’s only had an OPS+ above 100 two other seasons in his career and that was 2016 and 2017. So the likelihood of him repeating that is low.
What we can expect, even though he’s not played the position before, is solid defense at 2B. I previously wrote about the uncertainty of the position after the elimination of the shift. Bringing in a guy who has posted positive outs above average (OAA) for most of his career at shortstop to play second base should yield a good return. Especially since last year his range was still good and that’s where second basemen will be most tested this year.
We can also expect him to run a bit. BeefLoaf just wrote a blog about the White Sox stealing more bases. While Andrus doesn’t run like he used to when he’d steal 30+ bags a year, he still had a very respectable 18 SBs in 22 attempts last year. If we get 15-20 SBs out of Andrus, that would be a nice help to the team’s run production.
One other thing I am hoping for, is that he finds someone on the team to mess with the way he did with Adrian Beltre when they played together. Bring a little fun to the team.
Overall, it’s not a sexy signing, but it is the White Sox bringing in a veteran to take over a position they have had trouble filling for a while. It also moves Lenyn Sosa and Romy Gonzalez to being depth. Both have minor league options, so they can keep playing every day at Charlotte until they’re needed.
Now do starting pitching depth White Sox.