With the Yankees 40-man roster crunch coming to a head on Monday, the club has targeted former top prospect Jurickson Profar of the Rangers to lighten the load.
It wasn’t long ago that Jurickson Profar was the “can’t miss” top overall prospect in baseball. Turn the page almost five years later, and Profar has become a man without a true position, now potentially available for trade. Enter the Yankees and their glut of minor league talent.
Spending all but 22 games at Triple-A Round Rock in 2017, Profar struggled mightily in 70 major league at-bats, hitting .172 with zero home runs, five RBI and 14 strikeouts.
The only real positive to come out of last season for the 24-year-old native of Curacao, is while playing five different positions (left field, first base, second base, third base and shortstop) during 160 innings, Profar made zero errors in 49 chances.
A shortstop by trade, Elvis Andrus has blocked Profar’s path to the Rangers, although with a contractual opt-opt looming for Andrus following the 2018 season, the Rangers may decide to stick Profar on the 25-man roster or risk exposing him to waivers next spring.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees may be willing to take on a single player with upside in exchange for a number of mid-tier prospects could very well be left off the 40-man roster come next week anyway.
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"Profar would fit into the Yankees philosophy in recent years in which they are willing to acquire prime-aged players with upside such as Gregorius, who like Profar was raised in Curacao, or Aaron Hicks, who like Profar was a switch-hitter who had not yet honored his pedigree."
Since the Yanks’ are basically set at key positions around the diamond, Profar would need to compete with Chase Headley for playing time at third base, be used in a pinch at DH or unseat Ronald Torreyes as the club’s super-utility man.
The Rangers are said to be in the market for young, cost-controlled starters this winter, and some of the names they may ask the Yanks for include, Luis Cessa, Bryan Mitchell, Caleb Smith, Chasen Shreve, Ronald Herrera, Ben Heller, Jonathan Holder, Gio Gallegos, Cale Coshow and J.P. Feyersien, according to Sherman.
Is this a good deal for the Yankees? It’s hard to say. I mean, it would certainly lessen the worry of losing a player for nothing, similar to what happened during last year’s Rule 5 draft when the Padres selected 20-year-old catcher Luis Torrens.
You also never know what a change of scenery might do for a player who once had loads of potential. Adding Profar could be general manager Brian Cashman’s way of replacing the recently traded Jorge Mateo — who just so happens to be only two years younger than Profar and has an eerily similar skill set.