Last week, the New York Yankees were rumored to be in on outfielder Adam Duvall. This week, he signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Boston Red Sox. Duvall perhaps represented the best bang for your buck at this juncture in free agency.
That deal was telling, too, because the Sox apparently passed on Jurickson Profar, who could have been a versatile option for them due to their lowly middle infield situation following Trevor Story’s elbow surgery.
If we’re to assume, the price for Profar likely kept the Sox away. Boston hasn’t exactly been keen on spending and a multi-year contract in the $10-$12 million AAV range (which has been rumored) for Profar probably wasn’t of preference to Red Sox ownership.
Knowing the Yankees missed on Duvall for cheaper, why is anybody buying stock in the report that Brian Cashman and Co. are “keeping tabs” on Profar? Of course they are! It’s their job to! It doesn’t mean they’re any closer to signing him.
Like the Duvall situation, the Yankees need to find a trade partner willing to take on an undesirable salary so they can remain under the $293 million tax threshold. Since the market’s been dead, how does anybody expect that to happen?
Yankees ‘keeping tabs’ on Jurickson Profar means nothing
Profar would undoubtedly be a valuable addition due to his defensive versatility, but how are spectators buying his offense? He’s a switch-hitter, which is also a huge plus, but he’s a career .238 hitter. He owns a .708 OPS and 94 OPS+ across his nine MLB seasons. Entering his age-30 season, do the Yankees really want to add another aging option lacking a complete profile to a multi-year contract?
All it’ll take is a slow start from the former Ranger and Padre to have the fans calling for his head. And who’s to say he’s that much better than the options the Yankees have at the moment? Sure, we’d all like to see Oswaldo Cabrera in the infield more, but there might not be plentiful opportunities for him there, especially in the early going.
And again, do you want another high-priced option stuck in the Yankees’ lineup rotation that’s merely forced to play because of the salary attached to them? You saw how long it took for them to partially banish Aaron Hicks.
Throw in the fact teams with more financial flexibility are also interested, and the whole “keeping tabs” effort might be short lived. Both the Rangers and Marlins are in on Profar, and while they’re not premier spenders, both are nowhere near to the first luxury tax threshold. And they certainly need Profar more than the Yankees do.
So before you dive into your Twitter search results that yield screaming fans saying “The Yankees NEED Jurickson Profar in left field YESTERDAY,” just tread lightly, because, like so many other free agent/trade scenarios, it’s probably not happening.