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MLB rumors: Texas Rangers trade Elvis Andrus to Oakland Athletics for Khris Davis

Sep 8, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus (1) warms up against the Oakland Athletics during the seventh inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers have traded shortstop Elvis Andrus to the Oakland Athletics for slugger Khris Davis, in a deal that could provide a nice change of scenery for both former sluggers.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported the trade, which will also send catcher Aramis Garcia and cash considerations to the Athletics for Davis, catcher Jonah Heim and right-handed pitcher Dane Acker.

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MLB rumors: Rangers acquire Khris Davis in Elvis Andrus trade

The deal should fill holes in the lineup for both teams that they were unable to address previously as spring training approaches. It also gives teams financial flexibility, allowing Oakland to address secondary needs this offseason and Texas to have more money to spend in 2022.

Earlier this winter, it was reported that the Rangers planned for utility infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa to serve as the team’s everyday shortstop in 2021. It meant that Andrus, who was sent to Texas in the 2007 Mark Teixeira trade, would lose his starting spot with the team for the first time since he made his MLB debut in 2009.

A two-time All-Star selection, Andrus’ play has declined in recent years. After posting a .297/.337/.471 slash line with 20 home runs and 25 stolen bases in 2017, things have gone downhill. Over his last three seasons, Andrus holds a .260/.306/.378 line and just 21 home runs across 273 games.

The 32-year-old shortstop is owed $14 million in each of the next two seasons. As part of the deal, the 2023 vesting option for $15 million becomes a player option. In return for taking on the three-year contract, Texas is sending $13.5 million to the Athletics.

After letting star shortstop Marcus Semien walk in free agency, signing with the Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland now fills the void in its lineup. Coming off a 2020 season that saw Andrus post just a .194/.252/.330 line across 29 games, the Athletics will be hoping he can at least improve defensively.

Davis, MLB’s home run leader in 2018, is in the final year of his contract and owed $16.75 million this season. After three consecutive seasons with 40-plus home runs, 100-plus RBIs and a .247 batting average (2016-’18), he hasn’t been the same player in the last two years.

The 33-year-old designated hitter slashed .217/.294/.378 with only 25 home runs and a staggering 27.2% strikeout rate across his last 163 games. Texas will be hoping that a new environment could help him rediscover some of the abilities he used to demonstrate.

More importantly for the Rangers, this gives them greater financial flexibility for the 2022 MLB offseason when the free agency class will be loaded.