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Jurickson Profar sent to Athletics in three-team trade

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Athletics have acquired Jurickson Profar from the Rangers in a trade. It’s actually part of a three-team deal, Passan reports, involving the Tampa Bay Rays and a bunch of minor leaguers.

The core of the trade, Passan says, is Profar to Oakland, prospects Brock Burke, Eli White, Kyle Bird, Yoel Espinal and international bonus pool money to Texas, and the Rays will get reliever Emilio Pagan, prospect Rollie Lacy and a competitive balance pick.

Profar, baseball’s top prospect once upon a time, will turn 26 during spring training. While his career has been marred by serious injury, he is coming off his first full — and his best — season in 2018. This past year he hit .254/.335/.458 with 20 homers, 77 RBI and stole ten bases in 146 games while playing shortstop, first, second, third and left field. It’s possible that the A’s view him as that kind of a super utilityman, the sort of which has become increasingly valuable in a game with big bullpens and short benches. It’s also possible that he’ll be given second base full time now that Jed Lowrie is departing via free agency.

Pagan has two big league seasons under his belt, and pitched 55 games in relief for the A’s in 2018. The Rays use relievers like nobody’s business, so it’s not surprising they wanted an arm in the deal. Lacy is a 23 year-old lefty who has not pitched above High-A yet. That draft pick has a slot value of $1.88 million and may be the most valuable thing heading to Tampa Bay in this deal.

Brock Burke, the Rays’ third round pick in the 2014 draft, is a lefty starter who split time between High-A and Double-A last year. He has some serious gas. White is a utility type who has spent a good deal of time in both the infield and outfield. He’s 24 and hit pretty well in the Texas League in 2018.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.