FRISCO, Texas -- Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus has watched the club's offseason with intrigue. He was on vacation in Hawaii with Ian Kinsler and Adrian Beltre and their families when word spread that Kinsler was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Prince Fielder.
Just like that, Andrus lost the player that has spent the most time with him at second base since he broke into the majors in 2009. He was used to Kinsler's tendencies, and the two had developed a strong chemistry.
"Besides my (double play) partner, he was buddy," Andrus said. "He was one of the guys that welcomed me. He always made me feel comfortable on the field. It's going to be a little bit sad, but, at the same time, this is a business and you've got to keep playing."
Andrus, sporting quite a beard, was at Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco to sign autographs for fans as the Rangers' annual Winter Caravan kicked off. Andrus took the place of Derek Holland, who has started rehab after knee surgery on Friday that will keep him out for possibly half the season. Andrus looked rested and ready for spring training, where he'll begin to fully connect with Jurickson Profar, the club's new second baseman. The two did play some games together in 2013, so it won't be completely new.
"The guy is extremely talented, like I've always said," Andrus said. "On Day 1, we'll be able to talk and the same thing I did with Ian at the beginning, we'll do the same with Jurickson -- make him feel comfortable and let him grow and keep getting better as a player."
Andrus is excited about having Shin-Soo Choo hit in front of him in the lineup, adding that he believes Choo will have a big impact on the offense.
"Here's a guy that always gets on base, he has a high percentage of getting on base," Andrus said. "When the leadoff hitter gets on base, that makes it easier for me. I'm excited to see how that 1-2 punch looks, and my job is to get on base and let the guys like AB and Prince (Fielder) do the rest."