The Rockies, suddenly facing multiple outfield injuries, are showing “real interest” in free-agent outfielder Jurickson Profar, reports Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post (Twitter link). Over the past month, the Rockies have seen Randal Grichuk undergo surgery for a bilateral sports hernia and Sean Bouchard suffer a biceps rupture that’ll require potentially season-ending surgery.
Colorado’s outfield currently projects to include Kris Bryant, Yonathan Daza, Charlie Blackmon and perhaps younger options like Nolan Jones and Brenton Doyle. Prior to the injuries, however, the 36-year-old Blackmon (37 in July) was slated to serve primarily as a designated hitter in 2023. That could still be the case, as Grichuk is expected back relatively early in the season, but the depth in the outfield isn’t a strong point for the Rockies anyhow — particularly with Bouchard facing a lengthy absence.
Bryant, signed to a seven-year, $182MM contract last offseason, was limited to just 42 games last season by a series of back injuries and a bout with plantar fasciitis. Daza, entering his fourth big league season, has never topped 113 games during an MLB campaign. He missed time with a dislocated shoulder in 2022 and a fractured thumb in 2021. Blackmon tore the meniscus in his left knee late in the 2022 season, and Grichuk, as previously noted, is currently on the mend from surgery.
A deal with Profar, then, makes some sense. He’s typically been deployed as a left fielder in recent seasons, which could push Bryant over to right field, where he perhaps uncoincidentally has been seeing increased time this spring after spending all of his time in left field last year. Thomas Harding of MLB.com wrote last week that manager Bud Black approached Bryant about the idea of spending more time in the opposite corner early in spring training, and Bryant is open to the idea.
Profar was an infielder earlier in his career and, at one point, rated as the top prospect in all of baseball while rising through the Rangers’ system as a shortstop. He’s twice had shoulder surgery since that time, however, which eventually prompted a move to the other side of the second base bag. Following a trade to the A’s, Profar developed a case of the yips at second base and was eventually moved to left field, where he’s played almost exclusively with the Padres over the past couple seasons.
Profar hasn’t been a standout performer at the plate, but over the past three seasons he’s combined for a respectable .244/.333/.375 batting line with a 10.8% walk rate and just a 15.4% strikeout rate. He hasn’t hit for much power but has shown strong bat-to-ball skills with a keen eye at the plate. Defensively, his work in outfield has been slightly above-average, per Defensive Runs Saved, and a bit below average, per Statcast. It’s still a relatively new position for him, however, and it’s fair to think that a former plus defender at shortstop could continue to hone his skills in left and become a quality defender there.
The question for the Rockies could come down to one of payroll. Roster Resource projects a $163MM payroll for the Rockies, which is already a franchise record. While Profar’s current asking price isn’t clear, he declined a $7.5MM player option with the Padres following the 2023 season, and The Athletic’s Brendan Kuty recently reported that he was at one point looking for $10MM per season. Whether his asking price has dipped and/or whether the Rockies would meet that level remain to be seen, but the mere fact that they’re showing legitimate interest is an indicator that owner Dick Monfort is at least willing to further boost the currently projected record payroll to at least some extent.
Thank you for the in depth analysis Buster Olney 🙂
Marinararivera + Tony Plush
But is profar showing interest in Colorado? And does he have much of a choice?
He doesn’t have a choice at this point
Marinararivera + Tony Plush
He should have just stayed in SD, he could be in a good situation with a team that is gunning for a title. Instead he over estimated his value and will likely end up with a team that’s lucky to play 500 ball for less money then he was guaranteed. IF he signs with the Rockies (there still is a shot he could sign with a contender) his best options are A- hope that Colorado air and Coors field crank up his offensive stats enough to fool people about his potential for next off-season. Or B- play well enough to get flipped at the deadline to a contender. (And also hope Colorado does the smart thing and trade him, they have been known to hold on to players for absolutely no reason.)
For the money profar likely goes anywhere. Problem is, in true boras style, I’d bet the asking price floor of a 1yr make good deal is the declined option value.
Marinararivera + Tony Plush
It always seems like there is one Boras guy every year that gets the shaft. Last year Conforto, this year Profar. The man is good at his job but there seems to be one guy every year that he values too highly or teams just don’t want.
He’s not going to bat 1.000 but close to that is good enough for his clients. Otherwise, he would put a lot of other agents out of business.
Marinararivera + Tony Plush
I agree, and I get the impression that he is very stuck up. Could be just me thought.
Of course they are. Dumb decisions are just what they do.
If the Rockies want to grab Profar on a one year deal, I don’t mind although he is not the best clubhouse guy according to rumors.
I think he would be a bad fit on a multiyear deal.
One year, $10 million, tops. Have to be able to trade him at deadline to make it worth it. Rockies will win 75 or less.
Rockies are not competitive this year with or without him. More like 2-3mil or let him keep waiting. No team really “needs” him for what he opted out of in SD, let alone more.
Might as well just go ahead and sign him as Bryant’s understudy. We all know KB will spend time on the IL as he always does. I’m impressed he made it this deep into ST without hitting the shelf, but it’s just a matter of time.
Is Ian Desmond not available?
He’s holding out for a seven-year deal.
“Catherine says he’s holding out for a management position.”
At least he kept the 50 foot plot and the worm farm to tide things over.
This one belongs to the Reds
As opposed to the fake interest that was shown before?
u r smart
Profar wants too much money, that’s why the Padres let him walk.
For a utility player, he is good in that role. As an everyday player he loses value
From what I’ve seen of him in the wbc, I think that might be why a team in need suddenly is interested in him. The wbc is kind of like a tryout for him.
The Padres didn’t let him walk. He declined a player option.
Well, you never heard Peter Seidler say “Signing Jurickson is our top priority” either.
Injuries sminjuries……this guy is not the answer. You already have the players to pick up the slack. Stay away.
Rockies need somebody who can play some CF until they get Grichuk back. In what will be a non competitive season anyway, they might as well save some money and sign a more versatile AAAA player like Almora. Or see if they can pull a minor trade for David Dahl.
IKF is a bum. He’s a HUGE hole at SS and I’m the line up.
You are NOT the lineup!
…….Ian Desmond on line 2…should I ask him to hold?
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Transfer the call to “Cars R Us”, they need a salesman…
Guy’s gonna rake! Book the 2023 championship parade down Blake Street.
Possible conversation between Profar and his agent. “Scott, I followed your advice and opted out, expecting at least Two years $20MM” Boras, looking at his watch “Jurickson, you know I think of you as family, and one year at $3M seems fair. Of course, I’ll fight tooth and nail for more.”
Profar isn’t a bad clubhouse guy, that’s exactly what you heard…a rumor.
He is having a good showing in the WBC thus far. It’s a good opportunity for him to showcase his talent for any teams looking for an injury backup.
The biggest problem is his sticker price. He and Boras elevated his value based off of a mediocre season.
The Rockies should not be basing any salary offer on Profar’s declined option. That was his decision and is in the past. His value on the Rockies is not that much. I would offer 1 year $5 million max. If he declines, then go the next name on the FA list.
I think the move for COL would be to get him on a 1 year deal, let him prop those offensive power numbers up at Coors and trade him at the deadline. Pretty much the value to COL is if you can get him on a lower salary you can flip him at the deadline when he’s slugging .450 and on pace for 20+ HRs.
But then you are gambling on him actually improving on his numbers AND blocking the young players while doing it. Then you trade him for another prospect when you still haven’t figured out what to do with your current prospects. Or if he doesn’t improve his numbers, you have wasted the money and blocked your young players for a year. Not what I would do.
He will sign for less than he opted out of.
Albert Almora or Odubel Herrera make more sense. The team still has a fair amount of corner depth. It’s CF they need help with
Yeah, but the Rockies usually gravitate towards former NL West players when signing mid free agents. Guys that they see 18-19 times a year.
You don’t spend $7MM to have a one month replacement. It’s not like they were expected to contend.
This situation screams Kyle Schwarber all over again.
This one belongs to the Reds
Now I want Skyline lol
This screams Kyle Schwarber all over again.
The Yankees better sign him first if Bader is gonna miss significant time. Might push Judge back to center but their OF depth can’t handle a chunk of time without Bader without an upgrade.
They won’t bc of the Cohen tax threshold and shouldn’t sign Profar as he’ll be an expensive bench player when Bader returns. It’s likely Judge will spend more time in CF and Estevan Florial makes the club as he’s out of options.
Profar comes with an exalted opinion of his value and a bad attitude toward being part of a team. The Rockies are not going to contend, so why not give the young guys not mentioned in this piece a chance to play at the major league level? It would be plain stupid to sign Profar for any price.
Profar was once the #1 prospect in all of baseball. He no doubt has an engorged ego.
An incentive laden one year contract might be the way to go with Profar. He’ll probably hit 20 bombs at Coors. He might be more valuable there than anywhere else, with the possible exception of Cincinnati. Cincinnati is going with Friedl, Fraley and Senzel in the OF. Senzel is a health risk. The other two are decent but Profar could definitely help them.
Oh, darn. I forgot about Myers. He’ll be playing 1B quite a bit, though, so Profar could still help them.
“A deal with Profar, then, makes some sense.”
This sentence adds nothing to the piece.
If I’m Profar, I would pass. I understand there aren’t a lot of other options, but I would take less money to go anywhere else. Colorado, at this point in time, is baseball purgatory. Yes, they will pay you, but it isn’t really a platform to further your career in any meaningful way. The team isn’t going anywhere and the environment gives other teams just enough pause when evaluating your statistics to allow them to pursue someone else. It’s perfect for a guy like Kris Bryant who is a pure mercenary.
If I were Profar, I would have my agent approach the Nationals and find out if they have interest at any price. They offer a clear path to playing time and offer opportunity to mentor young players on the way up. It would be a much better situation for proving your value to another team or perhaps to the Nationals as they go through their rebuild.
Motor City Beach Bum
I think I read Zac Veen has been looking phenomenal in Spring training. Give him a shot, at least until Grichuk gets back. If he works out play him, if not another year in the minors for seasoning. Much like my Tigers you know you aren’t making the playoffs this year so why not take a few test drives.
Knowing the Rocks… they will probably hand Profar a 5 year, $125M contract.
The day after another “so and so team has interest In Profar” article comes out, there should be retort article “another team has gone gun shy once again on Profar”.
Pretty much every team except the Padres have shown interest and then gone gun shy on my man.
Machado, Musgrave and Soto all lectured Profar in the dugout about a play in between innings… An on-field attitude problem cost them a run…
Profar worked hard to improve his skills with Fernando Ringworm Sr. last winter. He did well, but never earned his contract value. Plus, his proximity to TWO PED users (the Fernando Ringworms, Junior and Senior) might have been a red flag.