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Athletics release Andrus in final year of $120M deal

Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Oakland Athletics continued to reshape their roster Wednesday amid a dismal season as they released veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus, the team announced.

Oakland recalled infielder Sheldon Neuse from Triple-A Las Vegas in a corresponding roster move.

Andrus, who turns 34 next week, is earning $14 million this year, the final guaranteed season of his eight-year, $120-million contract he signed while with the Texas Rangers.

The A's held a $15-million club option on Andrus for 2023. However, it would have converted to a player option had he received 550 plate appearances this season or made 1,100 combined plate appearances over the last two campaigns. Andrus made 386 plate appearances this year with the A's. It also would have converted to a player option had he been traded or claimed off waivers.

Oakland acquired Andrus from the Rangers before the 2021 season as part of a five-player trade that sent catcher Jonah Heim to Texas. The Rangers sent $13.5 million in cash to the A's as part of the trade, covering large portions of his remaining salary.

Andrus was underwhelming offensively during his two-year tenure in the East Bay, posting a .638 OPS with 11 homers and 67 RBIs across 252 games. He hit eight home runs this year - his highest total in three seasons - but slashed just .237/.301/.373. His defense also tailed off, tallying minus-five defensive runs saved at shortstop.

The Venezuelan first emerged as a bright young shortstop for the Rangers in 2009, when he was the AL Rookie of the Year runner-up. He earned All-Star berths in 2010 and '12 and was a key part of Texas' playoff teams and consecutive AL pennant winners from 2010-16.

Andrus is the second expensive veteran released by the A's in the last two days, following outfielder Stephen Piscotty.

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