Could Elvis Andrus slide into Toronto's Hot Stove picture? Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE

Blue Jays Should Pursue Elvis Andrus

As ten lucky teams get themselves ready for October baseball and the postseason, the Toronto Blue Jays are getting right back to work and starting to kindle the fires of the Hot Stove in their quest to improve the club in 2013.

For you and I, that means the speculation can officially begin.

The Jays have many needs, with pitching chiefly among them. Manager John Farrell touched on another one the other day, telling that he’d like to add a high on-base percentage hitter to the top of the line-up in 2013. Specifically, he is looking for a guy to set the table for what hopes to be a healthy combination of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.

That’s where Elvis Andrus comes into the picture.

It is a bit out of the ordinary to be considering a 24-year-old All-Star shortstop as possible trade fodder, but the Texas Rangers will find themselves in an interesting position this offseason. In Jurickson Profar, they have a 19-year-old who is now ranked as baseball’s top prospect and is pushing himself to the major leagues at a rapid pace. And because he profiles as a once-in-a-lifetime type prospect that will be the future of their club for many years, Andrus may become available to make room for him.

Andrus will have his most value on the trade market this winter, when he still has two years remaining on his contract, which is quite affordable at $4.8 million in 2013 and $6.475 million in 2014.

Toronto is obviously less than pleased with their incumbent candidate at shortstop, Yunel Escobar, and their prospective replacement, Adeiny Hechavarria, profiles more as a bottom of the order hitter long-term. Additionally, Hecavarria may be a solid candidate to man second base in 2013.

The Rangers are always looking for pitching prospects, something that Toronto has a plethora of with the likes of Noah Syndergaard, Justin Nicolino, Daniel Norris, Aaron Sanchez, et al. Of course, the Blue Jays have their own long-term pitching needs to think of, but a package centered around one of these prospects, plus one of Toronto’s catching prospects may be enough to get a deal done with Texas.

The Rangers may also choose to start Profar in the minors in 2013. If they do, Toronto could include Yunel Escobar in any deal. Escobar has one more season guaranteed on his contract, with team options in 2014 and 2015. The Rangers could use him as a stop-gap until Profar is ready to take the position.

Either way, working out a deal would likely cost Toronto something significant, and given Anthopoulos’s edict on building the farm system, the Blue Jays may be hesitant to part with the necessary pieces. Still, the chance to acquire a 24-year-old All-Star shortstop do not come around often, so Toronto would be prudent to at least shake the tree.

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  • brentinKorea

    Let’s take care of the rotation first.

  • Jacob Danovitch

    If there’s any top pitching prospect I’d trade, it’s Norris, but only because of how good the big 3 is. What else do you think would be in a package with Norris for Andrus?

  • PeterZM

    I know of a shortstop that is a solid defender with an obp in the mid 3′s and who also ops around 700. He is coming off an off year and he wouldn’t cost anything to get . Why would we pay anything for what is already on the team.

  • neuro1968

    This is a terrible idea. Andrus has a career 695 OPS playing in an extreme hitters park, which Hechavarria should be able to match with even mild improvement in 2013, at no cost. Good glove, no bat shortstops are a dime a dozen, and to swap blue chip prospects for Andrus seems ludicrous to me, especially when a cheaper, similar alternative already exists in Hechavarria.

  • Paul Miller

    I really don’t think a shortstop is a high priority for the Jays right now. Especially at the cost of Andrus.

    We should be focusing on improving SP, 2B, LF first.

  • EvilGenius

    lol one guy is trading Norris, him and Sanchez are the best of the 4. Norris is a beast lefty, high, high IQ and character guy. And lets be honest for you guys dropping Hechs numbers, in a month of ab’s vs’s Andrus I don’t need every scout in the game or guy with a typewriter to tell me Hech is a bottom of the order at best player. Further trading for Andrus is about gearing to win now-ish, you know before Jose is 50yrs old. Half the team are FA’s in 2016 that’s a 3 year window, Hech needs another season in the minors and 1-2 more to develop at the ML level (see Lawries ’12 stats) Jays don’t have time for those type of growing pains, not when you talk about having a young catcher (D’arnuad) and a young OF (Gose) +Lawrie +shaky D at 1b, a young rotation void of an ace (+ or – Morrow) Who knows what in Rasmus. The team just can not afford to have that many young unproven / learning at the ML level players. Argue all you want about Andrus he’s still got a TON of upside, he’s a defensive wiz but he’s above dependable and exciting now.. not 3 years from now.

  • BtgJays

    I would trade for a Andrus but would want holland and young too. Hech ans Andrus middle infield, holland a 3 -4 SP, young a veteran presence plus dh and can back up any IF position. Arencibia, Escobar, Rasmus, plus top end prospect. Texas will need a Cf since Hamilton will most likely leave and a C since Napoli will too. The they can trade kindler move tunnel to 2nd and pro far to ss. Frees up a ton of money for Texas to be aggressive on the fa market especially with Greinke.