Jurickson Profar could be one of the Rangers’ biggest trade chips this offseason in their search for starting pitching, writes MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, although GM Jon Daniels spoke highly of Profar and said he expects him to be with the team next year. “As we sit here today, I expect him to be a part of the club in a winning role,” said Daniels of the 23-year-old Profar, who missed both 2014 and 2015 due to shoulder injuries but returned to play 90 games for Texas in 2016. The former No. 1 overall prospect batted just .239/.321/.338 in 307 plate appearances while playing first base, second base, shortstop, third base and left field. Daniels did acknowledge that he’s aware of Profar’s desire to play shortstop on an everyday basis, though there’s no avenue for him to do that with Elvis Andrus coming off a career year. However, as Daniels noted, the increase in roster versatility around the league has allowed utility players to effectively become regulars — a role that Profar could hold next year. Profar is under control through the 2019 season.
More from the division…
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow tells Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle that he and the rest of his front office are leaving this week’s GM Meetings with a lengthy list of “leads” to pursue in terms of both free agents and trades. “I think we’re going to start making some offers right away, both with teams as well as with agents and players,” said Luhnow. “Whether or not it leads to anything next week, I don’t know. But I would like to have one or two things done before the winter meetings if possible.”
- Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets that Angels GM Billy Eppler has informed Huston Street that he’ll have to win the closer’s role in a competition during Spring Training. Young righty Cam Bedrosian, who took over the ninth inning when Street hit the disabled list with a season-ending knee injury, will also be in the mix. The 33-year-old Street missed a month with an oblique strain early in the year before requiring knee surgery in August, limiting him to just 22 1/3 innings. Street recorded a brutal 6.45 ERA in that time and posted a 14-to-12 K/BB ratio while his fastball averaged a career-low 88.2 mph. Bedrosian, meanwhile, turned in a dominant 1.12 ERA with 11.4 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 49.5 percent ground-ball rate in 40 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old saw his own season end preemptively as well, however; he first hit the DL due to a tendon strain in the middle finger on his right hand before undergoing surgery to repair a blood clot in his arm.
- Fletcher also reports that the Angels turned down a trade offer for an offensive-minded second baseman at this week’s GM Meetings due to the fact that the unnamed player was a defensive liability (Twitter link). It’s not clear who, exactly, is being referenced with the report — speculate away in the comments section — but Fletcher gets the impression that defense will be a high priority for the Halos as they look to fill add a second baseman. (Of note, Fletcher implied in a followup tweet that the second baseman in question wasn’t exactly a big name.)
- Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto suggested that his club will pursue a more targeted offseason than it did last year, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. “Last year was about heavy lifting and effectively re-creating the way we played,” he said. “This year is about focusing on ways we can get better in the parameters we set up last year.” With some “freedom” in the payroll, Seattle will still be looking to add a right-handed-hitting option at first, a righty-swinging outfielder, and a lefty reliever. Divish ticks through some of the many options on the market.