After 12 years in the same division as the A’s, Elvis Andrus had plenty of exposure to the team. The former Texas Rangers shortstop was acquired by Oakland on Saturday in a five-player deal which sends fan-favorite Khris Davis to Arlington.
Now that Andrus gets to switch sides and team up with A's players, he said he looks forward to playing with some of the young guys who truly don’t act young at all. One, in particular, will almost feel familiar.
Andrus believes playing alongside Platinum Glove winner Matt Chapman will be comparative to that of playing next to another two-time Platinum Glove Award winner … Adrian Beltre.
But Beltre ... well, he's not a fan of people touching his head -- which is exactly why Andrus always did it. That shouldn't be an issue with Chapman.
“I started thinking a little bit like playing next to Chapman is like playing next to my good friend Adrian Beltre probably when he was younger, you know so, it’s a lot of things that I can relate and can put into perspective and I know it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Andrus said.
Talk about a compliment.
Can’t argue there too much, Beltre and Chapman both are elite third basemen.
“I really admire the team especially the last two years,” Andrus said Saturday. “Because it’s really hard to have such young players being that mature like the A’s, like we have right now. Guys like Chapman, [Matt] Olson, [Jesús] Luzardo, there are so many on the team that I really admire because I got to league really young too and when you find that type of talent, it’s just really cool to be a part of that.”
Not having to face Olson, Chapman and Luzardo will be a great breather for Andrus. Olson’s power alone is worthy of avoiding, and Luzardo looks to be at the top of the A’s rotation with a full season of starts.
Andrus is excited to join forces with those guys.
Last season, Andrus finished with a .194/.252/.330 slash line, three home runs and seven RBI in 29 games. He said he’s made both offensive and defensive adjustments and lost 10 pounds this offseason. He appeared ready to go and said he will report to spring training on Feb. 20.
Andrus also looks forward to playing in front of A’s fans.
“One thing I do love and I talked to the guys is how much passion Oakland fans have, you know?" Andrus said. "It’s unbelievable how passionate they are, even when you play at games you can feel all the energy the fans give to their players -- they’re really loyal and I love that, you know?”
He especially likes a set of A’s fans for their creativity in the outfielder bleachers.
“Now being part of the Bay Area, I’ll be more than welcome to waiting to see what kind of big posters they have for me there -- which is really cool to see," Andrus said.
Andrus also said despite being humble, he looks forward to creating memories for Oakland too.