With a big hole at second base to fill, the Tampa Bay Rays have reportedly informed with the Texas Rangers for Jurickson Profar. Profar, who turns 24 in February, is in a utility role with the Rangers.
The Rangers are not eager to trade Profar. The Rangers dealt with a lot of injuries last season, and a utility player like Profar could be worth his weight in gold for the Arlington-based team.
But with a gaping hole to fill at second and Profar still under club control for three more years, he may be a valuable chip for the Rays. This year, his salary will be a modest $1,005,000.
Since last week, the Rays are without a regular second baseman, as they traded Logan Forsythe to the Dodgers. In Brad Miller, the Rays have someone that can play second base, but he is scheduled to play as a first bagger in the upcoming season.
Since the Rangers are thin in minor league pitching depth, it would be a good trade for the Texans to trade Profar for a minor league pitching prospect or two.
So far Profar’s career was rather injury-riddled. But last season, when he came off the DL he had a good season defensive wise. At bat, the switch-hitter was a bit disappointing as he just hit .239. But as the Rangers have almost every infield position filled (Adrian Beltre 3B, Elvis Andrus SS and Rougned Odor 2B), the best possibility is a platooning role at first base or in the outfield. If the Rangers have any sense of decency, they will realize that this will block the development of the infielder from Curacao.
If Hensley Meulens decides to use Profar as a 1B during the World Baseball Classic, and Profar leaves a good impression, perhaps, his imminent future with the Rangers is secured. If not, the best thing to happen for Profar is a trade to a team that can use him at a fixed position.
To be continued?