GLENDALE, Ariz. — Elvis has entered the building.
The White Sox have agreed to a one-year, $3 million contract with veteran infielder Elvis Andrus, pending a physical, a source told MLB.com on Sunday. The club have not confirmed the deal.
Andrus, who played 1,914 games at shortstop over his 14-year career, will move to second base where he has never played a major league inning.
But with the game lag adjusted in 2023, second basemen will need more range defensively. Andrus, 34, arrived at the White Sox as a free agent on Aug. 19 last season after being released by the A’s. In 191 plate appearances spanning 43 games, Andrus cut .271/.309/.464 with nine home runs, 28 RBIs and 11 stolen bases playing shortstop in place of an injured Tim Anderson.
Andrus was a big reason for Chicago’s September push into American League Central. In an interview on the final day of the 2022 season, Andrus expressed his willingness to move from shortstop to second base to return.
“Yeah, if that’s what it is, if that’s the only option I have, going from a short position to another position, I’d be more than happy,” Andrus said. “It’s about playing and, at this point in my career, winning, being in a winning environment. That would mean a lot to my decision, that’s for sure.
“Personally, being here, I really enjoyed every moment. I don’t know what will happen in the future. I’m a free agent for the first time in my career, so we’ll see how it goes. But everyone knows the chances are open for me to come back next year.
The addition of Andrus also provides shortstop insurance behind Anderson, not to mention a player with 191 plate appearances in the playoffs. The White Sox are also high on Romy Gonzalez, who was the club leader to start second before the Andrus deal.
Gonzalez hit .238 in 109 plate appearances with the White Sox last season, along with two homers, four doubles, a triple and 11 RBIs. The 26-year-old hit this past offseason in Miami with Oscar Colas, the club’s No. 2 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and Mike Tosar, the White Sox’s Major League field coordinator.
Wide receiver Yasmani Grandal also visited Tosar in the offseason and was impressed with Gonzalez’s work.
“He looks great,” Grandal said. “He has a pretty good idea of what he needs to do. Obviously, I’m a huge fan of his. I think he can help us a lot. He has a big bat. Can definitely play in different spots on the pitch.
“So yes, I hope he has a good season. I will try to help him as much as possible. He is really well placed at the moment.”
In 42 games with the White Sox, Gonzalez played in every position except center, first base and receiver, although he was the team’s emergency catcher late last season. Leury Garcia is the team’s current utility player, with two years and $11 million remaining on his three-year contract.