The Jurickson Profar Situation Brewing in Texas
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Sam Evans :
The Texas Rangers reluctance to part with Jurickson Profar is well-reasoned. They believe that Profar can become a perennial All-Star candidate and a better player than both Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler. By trading Profar, the Rangers would be letting go of a talent that only comes around about once in a decade. The Rangers should do whatever it takes to ensure that Profar, Andrus, and Kinsler all have starting jobs next year.
The Rangers middle infield is crowded. Last year, Elvis Andrus played shortstop and hit .286/.349/.378 with twenty-one stolen bases and above-average defense. In terms of Wins Above Replacement, Andrus’s 4.2 WAR made him the fifth most valuable player in 2012. In 2013, Andrus will probably have a similar season perhaps with a few more stolen bases. Elvis Andrus has established himself over the last couple years as one of the top five shortstops in all of baseball.
Manager Ron Washington started Ian Kinsler at second base 144 games last season. Ian Kinsler had a rough year in 2012 considering he was coming off of a 2011 season where he hit thirty-two homers and was worth 7.2 WAR. The sabermetrics suggest that Kinsler’s defense got much worse in 2012, but the chances are there wasn’t that much off a drop off from his previous seasons. Overall, Kinsler has been the unsung hero of the Texas Rangers these last few years and the Rangers need to find a way to keep him in their lineup.
Jurickson Profar has the potential to be the best shortstop in baseball. He has quick hangs and a beautifully fluid swing that makes him appear destined for success. Once Profar adds some strength in the offseason, we could be looking at a shortstop who could hit .290 with 10-15 homers every year. However, the difference between Profar and Andrus and Kinsler is that both Andrus and Kinsler have proven that they can perform at the major league level, while Profar has yet to receive more than twenty at-bat’s.
When you add contracts to the mix, this whole situation gets way more complicated. Kinsler is set to make $75 million through 2017 and he has a team option for 2018. Elvis Andrus is signed for the next two years under a team-friendly contract. Profar is just a rookie so he has a long way to go before he hits free agency. None of these contracts are nasty, so the Rangers wouldn’t have a problem moving any of these guys if they had to.
Any one of these three guys could bring back a lot in a trade. Elvis Andrus has generated a lot of interest, in particular from the Rays and the Diamondbacks. Supposedly, Arizona offered Justin Upton for either Profar or Andrus. However, Texas has made it seem as if they are content on keeping all of these three studs. It wouldn’t surprise me if these three were still all with the Rangers in 2014 as well.
The best option for the Rangers to handle this situation with Profar, Andrus, and Kinsler is to move to Kinsler to the corner outfield. The disadvantages of this move are that Kinsler’s value would be diminished in the outfield and Profar would be under pressure to put up numbers right away. However, this is the perfect move for Texas because it is probably the only scenario where all three are in their starting lineup. Profar is talented enough to handle playing second base and Kinsler is athletic enough to play in the outfield. This is the right move for Texas to make and I’d be surprised if they went down a different path.
Overall, the situation in Texas regarding these three players is a mess. However, it is a very good situation to be in. If Texas decides to trade Profar or Andrus, they would be able to get Wil Myers or a player of his caliber. However, by just staying put and moving Kinsler to the outfield, Texas gets to keep all Profar, Andrus, and Kinsler in their everyday lineup. The Rangers front office has some big decisions to make this offseason, and they all revolve around the middle infield situation.
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***Today’s feature was prepared by Sam Evans, Baseball Writer. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Sam on Twitter. (@RJA206)***
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Posted on November 25, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged AL West, baseball, elvis andrus, ian kinsler, jurickson profar, justin upton, Kinsler outfield, mlb, profar, Profar second base, rangers 2013, rangers shortstop, texas rangers, texas rnager. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.