File this under “eh, may not happen, but it’s interesting.”
Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Rays have “checked in” with the Rangers regarding a possible trade for Jurickson Profar.
The Rays need a second baseman now that Logan Forsythe has been traded. Their most obvious move is to move Brad Miller to second base and replace him with one of the several passable but unexciting first base options left on the market. They could nab Profar, however, who is most suited to second. Meanwhile, the Rangers have been rumored to be close to signing Mike Napoli for some time to cover their 1B job, which Profar is currently slated to share in a platoon while subbing elsewhere around the diamond. Napoli in Texas and Profar in Tampa Bay makes a lot of sense.
No matter what happens, it’d be interesting to see Profar get a whole season in the bigs at a set position. The once top prospect missed the entire 2014 and 2015 seasons with shoulder injuries, but came back in the middle of 2016 and hit quite well for the Rangers for two months before falling off late in the year. Was it fatigue or was he merely exposed as a not-so-great hitter? Someone is going to find out this year. It’ll be interesting to see who takes the gamble.
This post brought to you by the “Society for Those Who Were Sorta Fixated on Profar for a Couple of Years and Who Have a Hard Time Letting Prospects Go.”
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.
The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.
That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.
Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.