As the Texas Rangers look to get over the hump and win their first World Series, infielder Jurickson Profar may be surplus to requirements should the Rangers prioritize short-term success over their long-term outlook. 

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Rangers, Nationals Discussed Profar Trade

Monday, Dec. 12

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Monday that Texas had talked with the Washington Nationals about a trade involving Profar. Rosenthal added the Rangers hoped to land right-hander Joe Ross. The Nationals eventually went in a different direction and traded for center fielder Adam Eaton.

Starting pitching is one of Texas’ biggest weaknesses, so using Profar as a trade chip to address the problem makes sense. 

And for as much potential as Profar has, his departure would alleviate the Rangers’ infield logjam. Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor aren’t going anywhere, which leaves first base as the only realistic position for the 23-year-old.

With 12 home runs and a .341 slugging percentage in 184 career MLB games, Profar doesn’t boast the power to be a productive offensive first baseman.

The Rangers may instead look to Joey Gallo, who hit 25 home runs in Triple-A last year. Mike Napoli and Edwin Encarnacion are available in free agency as well.

Profar’s career hasn’t quite met expectations after Baseball America ranked him the top prospect in MLB in 2013.

A change of scenery may help him get his development back on track. Having battled shoulder problems in 2014 and 2015—which limited him to 12 games during the two seasons combined—he’ll also benefit from having a full spring training without any questions over his health.

Given his defensive versatility—he played five positions during the course of 2016—Profar could be an important player for the Rangers in 2017, but Texas is smart to at least examine his trade value if it can add a veteran starting pitcher.

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