ARLINGTON -- When the Rangers get to Spring Training, they will likely approach certain key players about multiyear contract extensions. All-Star shortstop Elvis Andrus could be one of them. While it would seem more imperative to get something done with pitcher C.J. Wilson or outfielder Josh Hamilton -- since both are closer to being free agents -- Andrus will be worth exploring just as the Rangers did with second baseman Ian Kinsler early in his career.
"Part of our job internally is to evaluate the entire 25-man roster regardless of where they are to see who you would consider extending through arbitration and beyond," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "That wouldn't be limited to just guys who are arbitration eligible." Andrus has two years of service time and will not be eligible for arbitration until after this coming season. He won't be eligible for free agency until after 2014, meaning the Rangers have him "under control" for four more years. Wilson can become a free agent after the 2011 season and Hamilton after the 2012 season. Kinsler had just two years of service time when he signed a five-year, $22 million contract extension in 2008 that has him signed through 2012 with a club option for 2013. By doing so, the Rangers bought out three years of arbitration and possibly two years of free agency if they pick up the 2013 option. Without the extension, Kinsler could have been a free agent after this upcoming season. The Rangers signed Michael Young to his first multiyear contract after he had just two-plus years in the Major Leagues. Hank Blalock signed a multiyear deal after just one full season in the big leagues. Andrus is represented by agent Scott Boras, who just negotiated a seven-year, $80 million extension for Carlos Gonzalez with the Rockies. Gonzalez has just over two years of service time and, like Andrus, would not have been eligible for free agency until after the 2014 season. Andrus has not yet agreed to a contract for 2011 but pre-arbitration players normally don't get their deals done until closer to Spring Training or after it begins.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.