The Chicago White Sox were a really bad team in 2023. Part of it was because of the fact that their players mostly underperformed. Coaches and management can be a big problem but the players do step on the field and play the game.
During the off-season, the White Sox didn't really have an answer for their decade-old problem at second base. They needed to do at least a little something to have an MLB-caliber player there playing the position.
When Tim Anderson got hurt in 2022, the White Sox brought in Elvis Andrus to come and play shortstop. He was amazing in every way. He played solid defense and was incredibly hot with his bat for the final stretch of the season. They didn't make the playoffs but they had a chance and he was a big reason why.
Late in last year's off-season, with Anderson back in the mix, they decided to bring Andrus back but he was going to play second base. That turned out to mostly be a mistake for them as he wasn't as good as he was in his little 2022 stint.
Elvis Andrus wasn't good enough for the Chicago White Sox this year.
For one, he had never played second base before in his MLB career. He deserves credit for trying and being a team-first guy but it didn't work out well. He also wasn't amazing at the plate as a hitter for most of the year.
He ended with a positive WAR of 0.6 but that is not good enough for a player that is supposed to be an everyday regular. He slashed .251/.304/.358 with an OPS of .662. He had 6 home runs with 44 RBIs and 39 runs scored. None of those stats are going to cut it for a player like Andrus playing that often.
2023 Final Grade: D-
Elvis Andrus was at least a positive WAR player. They weren't a bad team because he didn't perform but he certainly didn't live up to expectations. With those things in mind, a D- feels like a good grade for his performance. Very few players are going to have a much better grade for this season.
Elvis Andrus will always be remembered by White Sox fans. He played the game the right way and was always a good teammate. However, he just came late in his career because the White Sox chose to not be smarter with their spending/trades. That is not his fault.
He certainly won't be on the team again next year but it will be interesting to see what comes next in his MLB career. It could be a minor league contract with an MLB tryout or maybe another team gives him a real chance. We'll see.