ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Oakland Athletics released veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus on Wednesday.
Andrus, who turns 34 on Aug. 26, hit .237 with eight homers and 30 RBIs in 106 games in his second season with the A’s. He was acquired in a trade with Texas in February 2021.
Last-place Oakland also recalled infielder Sheldon Neuse from Triple-A Las Vegas before its game at the Rangers. The 27-year-old Neuse appeared in 70 games with the A’s earlier this season, batting .227 with three homers and 21 RBIs.
Andrus broke into the majors with Texas in 2009 and spent his first 12 seasons with the Rangers. He made two AL All-Star teams and was the last player remaining from their two World Series teams when he was dealt to Oakland. He is a .270 hitter with 87 homers and 703 RBIs in 1,904 career games.
This is the final guaranteed season of the $120 million, eight-year contract Andrus signed with Texas that took effect at the start of the 2015 season, two years after he signed that deal. That contract includes a $15 million club option for 2023, but that would have become a player option if he had 550 plate appearances this season.
Andrus hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning of Oakland’s 5-1 win at Texas on Tuesday night. That was his first homer in 31 career games against the Rangers, and came in his 386th and final plate appearance for the A’s this season.
Andrus saw his playing time decrease as the A’s continued to focus on developing their young players, and he expressed his frustration. Rookie Nick Allen, 23, has been given the opportunity to win the shortstop job beyond this season.
“I totally understand it and respect it,” manager Mark Kotsay said before Wednesday night’s game at Texas. “Any time a veteran player who’s played every day sees his playing time get cut and the direction of the organization going young, it’s a difficult transition.”
Kotsay said the move also will allow Andrus to catch on with a contender.
“I do feel it’s real that Elvis Andrus is going to be on a playoff team with a chance to go a World Series,” Kotsay said.
Andrus’ departure came one day after outfielder Stephen Piscotty was released. Veteran infielder Jed Lowrie, who is 38, was designated for assignment by the A’s last week.
Veteran A’s catcher Stephen Vogt said it doesn’t get any easier to see experienced teammates released.
“I’ve been a victim of it multiple times in my career,” said Vogt, 37. “It’s an ugly side of our business.”
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