The Tampa Bay Rays search for a second baseman may be heading in a different direction, as they have reportedly been talking with the Texas Rangers about Jurickson Profar.
After the Tampa Bay Rays traded Logan Forsythe to the Dodgers, they were in need of a second baseman. The problem was, the options in free agency are not overly appealing. Chase Utley may be a veteran presence, but does he have anything left? The other options are hardly any more inspiring than Utley would be.
Then, it was thought that Brad Miller would slide over to second, leaving a vacancy at first. Given the plethora of options available in free agency at first, this made more sense. The Rays could get another solid right handed bat in the lineup, and find a possible bargain. It was the best of both worlds.
Instead, they may be looking in a different direction entirely. According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Rays and the Texas Rangers have begun discussing a trade that would send Jurickson Profar to Tampa Bay. Given the Rangers ongoing quest for starting pitching, it would seem likely that a trade would center around an arm going back to Arlington.
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In the 24 year old Profar, the Rays would be getting an intriguing prospect. He had been named the top prospect in baseball prior to the 2013 season, and started to establish himself in the Majors that year. As a 20 year old, he produced a .234/.308/.336 batting line, hitting six home runs and 11 doubles in 286 at bats. However, he missed the vast majority of the next two years due to a shoulder injury. Finally able to play again last year, he produced a similar .239/.321/.338 batting line in 272 at bats.
The problem for Profar in Texas is that he does not have a set position. Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor are entrenched up the middle, leaving Profar as a possible super utility player. However, given that he is just 24 years old, he may be far more valuable as a trade chip than as a utility player.
If the Rays are to trade one of their Major League pieces, it will likely take more than Profar to get the trade to happen. Last season, Profar was offered for Jake Odorizzi, and the Rays turned that deal down. If such a trade was to be discussed again, the Rays would likely be looking for a greater return once more. Only this time, the Rangers may be agreeable to moving another piece to bring in that pitcher.
The Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers are discussing a trade involving Jurickson Profar once again. With an opening at second base, this move would make a lot of sense.