The Rangers have not been shy in their pursuit of locking up their young players on long-term deals the last two seasons. Since last spring, the club has come to deals of at least five years with second baseman Ian Kinsler, right-hander Derek Holland, and left-hander Matt Harrison.
Shortstop Elvis Andrus may be the next young, homegrown player in line for a long-term deal, even with top prospect Jurickson Profar nipping at his heels.
The 24-year-old Andrus has had sporadic extension talks with the Rangers this offseason, and has expressed a willingness to continue those discussions into the future, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News:
"If they want to keep talking and get to a point where there is a really great offer for my future, yeah, I’d do it for sure," Andrus said Thursday.
Andrus, who agreed to a three-year extension with Texas last winter, is owed $11.275 million through the 2014 season, and will hit free agency at the age of just 26.
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If the Rangers wait too long to pick up their discussions with Andrus, or if agent Scott Boras decides that the shortstop would be better off testing the open market, Texas could face competition from the New York Yankees, who could be in search of a new shortstop when Derek Jeter's contract runs out following the 2014 season.
Grant speculates that a "great offer" for Andrus would probably need to be at an average annual value of $15 million, similar to the deal handed out to Kinsler last spring.