Once in a while, the debate whether the Texas Rangers should trade Jurickson Profar begins. And with the deadline coming up, the Tampa Bay Rays seem to be among a number of teams looking into the infielder.
Why the Rays? Because the Rangers have shown plenty of interest in a number of their starting pitchers, including Jake Odorizzi and Matt Moore, who seem to be on the shortlist of a lot of other teams. The Rangers have also been linked quite often with catcher Jonathan Lucroy of the Milwaukee Brewers, but it’s quite debatable if the Rangers actually need a new catcher, mentioning a couple of times that their bigger needs are in the bullpen and in the rotation.
There was some talk about Profar being traded before the season began, but due to his shoulder problems in the past, teams wanted to see how well the 23 year old will perform. In 132 at bats, he’s hitting .318 with a .821 OPS, while smacking four home runs. He’s also had plenty of AAA time this season (42 games), batting .284 with five home runs. His defense isn’t that great, especially in the small sample size of his work at shortstop, but it seems that how much the Rangers value him is what stands in the way of this deal being made.
He is controllable through the 2019 season, which means letting him go before the Rangers realize how good he is might be rushing the deal a little bit. But if the Rangers can get back an impact player in return, and they don’t see Profar as their shortstop of the future, and how he stands in comparison to Elvis Andrus, the current shortstop. If the Rangers think Profar is the real deal and not an injury risk, he’ll become the SS, while Andrus will move to the utility role.
It’s worth mentioning that Andrus has a lot of money coming his way, with $15 million a season through the 2020 season (can opt out in 2018 and 2019), $14 million in 2021 and 2022, and another vesting option in 2023 worth $15 million. With that kind of money going his way, it might be difficult moving Andrus, unlike Profar. It’ll come down, as mentioned, to how much they value him, and how much they can get for him in the next 12 days.