The Oakland Athletics on Wednesday recalled utility infielder Sheldon Neuse from the minors. As a corresponding move, veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus was released. Regarding Andrus, there had recently been a mild controversy. His playing time had dipped and he recently expressed frustration with it.
"Everybody knows I'm an everyday player. So doing this, it's not fun for me," he told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Of course I'm upset. I'm pissed about it. But like I said, the best I can do is stay positive and wait for my turn and be ready whatever happens."
There was plenty of speculation that theto make sure he didn't reach 550 plate appearances on the season. If he does reach that threshold, there's a $15 million option on his contract that vests for next season. If he fails to get there, he'll become a free agent.
Now with Andrus' release, surely he's headed for free agency.
In 106 games this year, Andrus is hitting .237/.301/.373 (97 OPS+) with 24 doubles, eight homers, 30 RBI, 41 runs, seven steals and 1.3 WAR. Andrus was second on the A's with 84 hits and his 1.3 WAR was fourth on the team, per Baseball-Reference.
Don't expect Andrus to find a starting job with a contender, but it's possible he catches on somewhere else in a backup role. He can still handle shortstop adequately and he hasn't been terrible with the bat this season (a 97 OPS+ indicates he's three percent below league average in terms of getting on base and hitting for power, adjusted for ballpark conditions). Any signing team would only be on the hook for the pro-rated league minimum.