Texas Rangers: Why Keeping Jurickson Profar is A Smart Move
By Andrew Webb
The versatile switch hitting Jurickson Profar has been discussed in trade rumors all offseason long. While trading him makes sense, could keeping Profar actually be the better long-term move for the Texas Rangers?
Earlier this offseason the Texas Rangers were reportedly offered New York Mets starter Matt Harvey for Jurickson Profar. The rumor did not last long as Texas was unwilling to trade Profar for a one-year rental player.
Harvey has come back down to earth after three remarkable campaigns with the Mets. He’s set to become a free agent next offseason, but could still help Texas this season. Profar has done almost nothing in Texas since his first call up in 2012.
In parts of four seasons, Profar is hitting .229 with 12 home runs and 53 RBIs in 206 games. Injuries have set him back some, but Profar has failed to capitalize on opportunities. He seems to be one of those players that is too good for Triple-A, but not good enough for the MLB.
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The Rangers are out of minor league options and must keep Profar on the 25-man roster. They could run the risk of sending him down, but Profar would need to pass through waivers. A 24-year-old versatile switch hitter with a cheap contract is not going to stay on the waiver wire for long.
Clearly other organizations are interested in Profar, but Texas has yet to pull the trigger. It does not quite make sense for the Rangers to keep Profar when he has no position to play. Texas is holding a young and somewhat valuable player hostage, but then it finally made sense.
The Rangers still have three years left of control on Profar before he’s eligible for free agency. At first glance, Profar is basically without a position to play in 2018, but Texas is keeping him for the long run.
Veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus has an opt out clause for 2019 and 2020. He could potentially leave Texas without much of a warning. While it seems unlikely to happen the Rangers still need to prepare for that possibility.
Texas does not have many young infielders that would be ready to make the jump to the majors. Profar is a player that could potentially fill-in at almost any position long-term. It is a great asset to have on your roster.
Profar could move to left field, if no one is able to grab the starting role in Spring Training. If Adrian Beltre is sidelined due to injury, Profar can play both third and first base. It is beautiful to have a player that could potentially jump in and start at almost every position.
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The Rangers are unsure if Profar will develop into a starter at the Major League level, In the meantime, he’s a fantastic insurance asset to the organization. His role in Texas has yet to be determined, but he could be a huge piece to the future in Arlington.