Reports have surfaced that the Texas Rangers are interested in trading one of their middle infield troika of Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar. So which one should they deal, and which would bring back the most return?
Cut Bait: Jurickson Profar, 2B/SS, age 20
Contract Status: Signed through 2020 and isn't arb-eligible until 2016, so basically, he's making nothing right now.
2013 Stats: 85 games, .234 batting average, .308 on-base percentage, 11 doubles, six home runs, 26 RBIs, 2-for-6 on stolen bases with eight fielding errors
On the surface, this seems like the most logical piece to move. He's young, he's a hot prospect and he's controllable for a long time for the team that would take him on. But he's also all of those things for the Rangers. Then again, there's always the Catch-22 with prospects: They're really highly touted, but they're also unproven.
Profar got his chance to be a big contributor in 2013 and didn't really have a lot of success. Then again, you have to remind yourself he's 20 years old and not everyone can be Bryce Harper and Mike Trout — two cases that will probably be seen again in 50 years, if we're lucky.
You also have to wonder if Profar would've settled in at the plate better last season if he'd been given a more regular role in the field. When he's moving around from third base to shortstop to second base and even taking a swim in left field, it's hard to get comfortable, and that can carry over to the plate. Also, again, he's just 20.
Rangers front office folks have said they intend to start Profar in the bigs in 2014, not in the minors again. That means one of the three of Profar, Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus has to go. You'd make the biggest splash in return by trading Profar, but the Rangers won't do it unless it can land them Giancarlo Stanton, or maybe David Price.
It's a tough call, but it seems trading Profar, if you can get one of those two players, is the best move to make while keeping your proven stars that are locked up in Kinsler and Andrus. Let Profar sink or swim elsewhere, especially if it brings back a proven star like Stanton or Price.