Rangers shortstop Jurickson Profar is drawing “a lot of hits” from teams interested in acquiring the former top prospect, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (via Twitter). Despite all this trade buzz, Texas is “at the moment very much inclined to hold” onto the 22-year-old.
In this respect, not much has changed since early November, when Rangers GM Jon Daniels said “we are not looking to trade” Profar. The only difference is that the Arizona Fall League season is now complete and teams may have had a fuller chance to scout and analyze Profar’s impressive performance. He hit .267/.352/.453 with two homers over 91 AFL plate appearances, playing exclusively as a DH as he continues to work his way back from the shoulder injuries that sidelined him for virtually all of the last two seasons, save a handful of minor league games in 2015.
It’s no surprise that Profar continues to generate trade interest given his high pedigree. Baseball America, MLB.com, ESPN’s Keith Law and Baseball Prospectus all unanimously tabbed Profar as the game’s top prospect prior to the 2013 season, and he received his first significant taste of MLB action that year, hitting .234/.308/.336 over 324 PA as a 20-year-old. It’s still an open question, however, whether or not Profar’s troublesome right shoulder is fit enough to handle throwing. Since the Rangers aren’t going to accept a buy-low offer, it’s unlikely that any team will make a serious push for Profar until scouts can see him play the field during Spring Training.
Even at the height of his prospect value, Profar still drew a lot of trade speculation given the presence of Elvis Andrus as the Rangers’ everyday shortstop and Rougned Odor also making his way up the minor league ladder. Andrus still has seven years and $105MM remaining on his pricey extension (though he has opt-out clauses after 2018 and 2019) and Odor established his claim on the second base job with a strong 2015 season, so there’s even more question about where Profar fits into the Rangers’ long-term middle infield plans.