The Los Angeles Angels made a trade to address their infield depth acquiring Gio Urshela from the Twins. Gio is a huge upgrade over the likes of Matt Duffy and Andrew Velazquez.
Urshela is a third baseman who the Angels appear likely to slot at first base at least for now. He does have experience at shortstop, but not much and when he's played there he hasn't been great.
The Angels do have David Fletcher but he just hasn't hit well enough to warrant an everyday role and isn't as good defensively at short as he is at second base.
With Arte Moreno looking to sell the team, it's unlikely the Angels would sign one of the star shortstops available. With that in mind, the Angels have two options. Play David Fletcher there or sign a different shortstop.
Elvis Andrus makes sense as a cheaper option for the Angels to sign at shortstop.
As cool as it would be for the Angels to sign someone like Carlos Correa or any of the big-name shortstops for the next five or more years, it seems rather unlikely for that to happen.
Someone who'd require substantially less money and term is a name Angels fans surely recognize, Elvis Andrus.
Andrus has spent 13.5 out of his 14 seasons in the AL West including the prime of his career in Texas.
The Rangers traded Andrus to Oakland prior to the 2021 campaign and he really struggled there. The A's ultimately released Andrus and he immediately signed with the White Sox. Playing with a team that was sort of competing seemed to really rejuvenate him.
Andrus slashed .271/.309/.464 with nine home runs and 28 RBI in 43 games with the White Sox. He also stole 11 bases without getting caught and had a 116 OPS+.
For most of this past season, the Angels had David Fletcher and Andrew Velazquez man the shortstop position. While they're great defensively, the offensive output makes it not worth the Angels' while.
Angels shortstops slashed .232/.271/.327 with 13 home runs and 62 RBI. Andrus hit nine home runs in 43 games alone with the White Sox. The offensive upgrade he'd provide is massive.
The Angels were 25th in runs scored despite having guys like Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani on the roster. If they were league average at shortstop where do you think they'd end up in runs scored? Andrus is probably a league-average shortstop.
The Angels don't need to field a team full of superstars. If they filled out the weak parts of the roster like shortstop, left field, and catcher with average hitters they'd be so much better.
Andrus doesn't wow anybody but even while struggling in Oakland he had a 96 OPS+ which is slightly below average.
Andrus wouldn't require more than a one or two-year deal and by the time that contract expires hopefully Zach Neto, the Angels 2022 first-round pick, is ready.
Obviously, a big name is preferred since it's not my money they're spending but I just can't see that happening. Andrus is a cheap option who should be a huge improvement offensively over what the Angels had.