Andrus re-ups with Rangers


ARLINGTON, Texas — Elvis Andrus is staying in Texas because he wants to win a World Series with the team that brought him to the major leagues.

Scott Boras, the agent who loves to have his clients test free agency, is fine with that.

The Rangers on Thursday announced a new contract that could keep the two-time All-Star shortstop in Texas for another decade. Andrus is guaranteed $120 million over an additional eight seasons through 2022, with a vesting option for 2023.

“I think as a player I treat myself as a winner and if I don’t get my ring and I don’t get this city a ring and this organization a ring, I won’t sleep,” said Andrus, a 24-year-old already in his fifth major league season with two trips to the World Series. “I love everything here. I love Texas. They treat me well.”

Andrus could have become a free agent after the 2014 season, and now that can’t happen until 2018 through an opt-out clause in the new deal that gives him a $2 million signing bonus. The Rangers also have limited trading power, whereas long-term deals usually include no-trade clauses.

“Elvis’ thing is he wanted fairness and he wanted to stay here,” Boras said. “He wanted to work out a deal, and his goal is to win with this team and win with this community. He’s very comfortable here, and it’s really nice that you can get a contract structure where you can keep a player where he wants to play because it doesn’t often work out that way.”

Andrus will get $15 million per season from 2015 to 2018 — when he turns 30 — and the salary is the same through the first two years of a player option. With the two years left on his current deal at more than $11.2 million, Andrus would earn more than $131 million over 10 seasons.

An opt-out is likely if Andrus becomes a steady .280 hitter who matches his career average of about 30 steals per season and remains one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball. In a certain way, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels hopes to have that problem in five years.

“When … both sides truly want to be here, not just saying it, but truly acting on it, you’ve got a pretty good starting point,” said Daniels, who made the decision in 2009 to promote a 20-year-old Andrus to the big leagues before he’d ever played a game above Double-A. “It’s an unusual deal, but both sides have options going down the road.”

Texas now has both of its All-Star middle infielders under contract through at least 2017. Second baseman Ian Kinsler, a three-time All-Star, is signed through 2017 with a club option for 2018.

The Rangers acquired Andrus from Atlanta in the July 2007 trade for that sent Mark Teixeira to the Braves. Texas also got in that deal left-hander Matt Harrison, an 18-game winner and All-Star last year, and hard-throwing Neftali Feliz, the closer for both the World Series seasons.

Andrus hit a career-best .286 in 158 games last season. After his 25 errors in 2011 that were the second-highest total for a shortstop, Andrus had only 16 last season while playing 10 more games in the field.

Kuroda says he’ll try to make next start for Yanks

NEW YORK — Hiroki Kuroda still felt a little discomfort in his bruised middle finger Thursday but said he will try to make his next scheduled start for the New York Yankees.

Kuroda was injured Wednesday night against Boston when Shane Victorino’s line drive deflected off his pitching hand. The right-hander remained in the game for a few more batters but struggled with his control and was lifted with one out in the second inning.

The 38-year-old Kuroda said a trainer advised him not to throw Thursday, but he will attempt to complete his regular bullpen session Friday. Until then, he won’t know whether he can take his next turn in the rotation.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Kuroda remains scheduled to start Monday in Cleveland.

Kuroda’s outing in a 7-4 loss to the Red Sox was the shortest of his six-year major league career. X-rays on the pitcher’s finger and a CT scan were negative.

Indians place LHP Kazmir on 15-day DL

TORONTO — Indians left-hander Scott Kazmir was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a strained ribcage muscle, retroactive to April 2.

Rookie right-hander Trevor Bauer is expected to start in his place against Tampa Bay on Saturday.

Kazmir felt sore after playing catch on flat ground during a team workout Monday. He threw a 30-pitch bullpen session Wednesday before returning to Cleveland for tests, which confirmed the injury. He’s expected to miss two or three starts.

Kazmir hasn’t pitched in the majors in almost two years. A two-time All-Star with Tampa Bay, he was released by the Los Angeles Angels in 2011 and pitched in the independent Atlantic League last year.

Acquired from Arizona last December as part of a three-team trade, Bauer is a former first-round draft pick who went 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA in four starts with the Diamondbacks last season.

Kazmir’s future starts could go to right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who is currently serving a six-game suspension dating from July, 2011. Carrasco missed the end of 2011 and all of 2012 after elbow surgery.

Tigers, ex-closer Valverde reach minor-league deal

MINNEAPOLIS — The Detroit Tigers have made no promises to Jose Valverde. The right-hander they call Papa Grande, who led the American League with 49 saves just two years ago, must prove he can still pitch well enough to warrant a spot in the back of their bullpen.

But the Tigers, who don’t have a set closer after letting the three-time All-Star become a free agent, took a step Thursday toward bringing Valverde back by agreeing to terms on a minor-league contract.

After sending top prospect Bruce Rondon to Triple-A Rochester near the end of spring training, the Tigers decided to use a closer committee. Phil Coke picked up the save in the season opener Monday but blew a ninth-inning lead in Wednesday’s loss to the Twins.

Valverde will report to Detroit’s spring training facility in Lakeland, Fla., to throw to some minor-league hitters before being assigned to Triple-A Toledo.

A’s trade LHP Travis Blackley to Astros

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics have traded lefty Travis Blackley to the Houston Astros for minor league outfielder Jake Goebbert.

The A’s announced the deal Thursday before heading to Houston to begin a three-game series with the Astros. Blackley is expected to be on the Astros’ roster for the series beginning Friday.

Blackley went 6-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 24 games for Oakland last season. He was designated for assignment last Friday after posting a 14.21 ERA in spring training.

Goebbert is a .285 career hitter with 31 homers and 237 RBIs in 456 games over four seasons in the minors.

Marlins say 1B Kotchman will head to DL on Friday

WASHINGTON — Miami Marlins first baseman Casey Kotchman is heading to the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.

The Marlins say Thursday they plan to put Kotchman on the DL on Friday, and make a corresponding roster move then.

Kotchman clutched the back of his leg while running out a double-play grounder in Miami’s 3-0 loss at the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.