This was supposed to be Jurickson Profar’s breakout season and his presence played a part in the Rangers’ willingness to trade second baseman Ian Kinsler, but instead the 21-year-old former top prospect is going to end up missing the entire season.
Profar held his own as a 20-year-old rookie last season, but shoulder problems sidelined him during spring training and he never got healthy, eventually undergoing surgery. Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas reports that he’s been ruled out for the remainder of the season and isn’t even scheduled to begin a throwing program until mid-August at the earliest.
If all goes well the Rangers plan for Profar to recoup some of the at-bats he missed by playing instructional league ball in October, followed by winter ball. And hopefully he’ll be at full strength in spring training.
Just one of many reasons why 2014 has been a mess for the Rangers.
An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.
As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.
While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.