Once again, the Rangers will head into a new season with an uncertain future with infielder Jurickson Profar. The 24-year-old, a former top prospect, is now out of options and must either be included on the Rangers’ 25-man roster or be exposed to outright waivers, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan and Jamal Collier report.
Profar missed the 2014-15 seasons with a shoulder injury and has not produced at the major league level since, putting up a .632 OPS in 377 plate appearances spanning 117 games in the two years since. He did perform well at Triple-A Round Rock, however, hitting .287/.383./.428 in 383 trips to the plate.
The Rangers are spoken for in the infield, with Adrian Beltre at third base, Elvis Andrus at shortstop, and Rougned Odor at second base. However, Beltre will turn 39 years old in April and is in the final year of his contract. Andrus can opt out of his contract, which runs through at least 2022, after the 2018 season. Odor is signed through 2022 but posted an ugly .649 OPS last season. The Rangers do have incentive to keep Profar around as a fallback option should any of their current infield starters falter.
GM Jon Daniels said, “We get asked about our infield a decent amount. We’ve got to be aware also that we’ve got a shortstop that has the ability to opt out of his contract at the end of the year, we’ve got a third baseman in the last year of his contract, so we’re not necessarily looking to move Jurickson.”
Should the Rangers end up willing to trade Profar at some point this offseason, an acquiring team would have control of him for three more years, which is quite valuable — particularly if he can show flashes of who he was as a former top prospect. Drew Robinson would fill the Rangers’ backup infielder role should the team choose to move on from Profar.