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.
We’re entering what is typically one of the slowest news weeks in the baseball calendar. Occasionally some big free agents sign around now. For example, it was 20 years ago today Andres Galarraga signed with the Braves, and I still remember being in an airport on the way home to visit my parents when I heard the news. I’m an old man.
The biggest news that is likely to happen this offseason is Giancarlo Stanton being traded. That hasn’t happened yet, but here are the latest bits of news on that:
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Cardinals have made a formal trade offer to the Marlins for Stanton. No word what they’re offering, but the clubs have been in discussion for some time and it has been reported that the Marlins are the most interested in doing a deal with St. Louis due to the prospects they could send to Miami. There is a sense, however, that Stanton would be hesitant to approve a trade to the Cardinals because he prefers to play on the West Coast;
The Giants play on the west coast, and over the weekend they were reported to be the “most aggressive team” in trade talks for Stanton at the moment. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Giants have likewise made an offer. Their farm system is nowhere near as stocked as that of the Cardinals, so it’s unclear whether they have the prospects to make Miami happy. They could, of course, eat a lot of Stanton’s $295 million contract to make up for that, of course, but (a) doing so would put them over the luxury tax; and (b) the Marlins no doubt want to spur a rebuild with a Stanton trade, so if they can’t get some blue chip prospects back in return, what’s the point?
UPDATE: Who knows if this is anywhere close to enough — I’m guessing not — but this is what the Giants reportedly have on the table:
Anyway, that’s where we are as we begin Thanksgiving week.