The wait finally ended this season for the Texas Rangers to see infielder Jurickson Profar blossom into a full-time major-league player.
Now that he has, and his value has soared, Profar has been traded.
A baseball source said that the Rangers traded Profar to the Oakland A’s in what is a three-team trade that includes the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rangers will receive infielder Eli White from the A’s and left-handers Brock Burke and Kyle Bird and right-hander Yoel Espinal from the Rays. The Rangers, who also acquired international bonus money, surrendered right-hander Rollie Lacy, who was part of the Cole Hamels trade in July.
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Profar played at least 10 games at all four infield positions and swatted 20 homers in 524 at-bats over 146 games. All three of those numbers are career-highs.
With two years of club control remaining and uncertainty surrounding the Rangers’ chances of keeping Profar beyond 2020 (his agent is Scott Boras), general manager Jon Daniels apparently believes that now is the best time to get the most he can for Profar.
The trade creates a vacancy at third base, where Profar was expected to replace Adrian Beltre. The Rangers acquired Patrick Wisdom at the winter meetings, but he has never been a regular player in the majors.
The best free agent who has played third base is Manny Machado, though he hopes to play shortstop with his new team. It won’t be the Rangers, who have said they won’t be playing for the top-of-the-market players.
Next on the list is Mike Moustakas, but the Rangers’ lineup is already loaded with left-handed bats. Next year’s class of free agents could be headed by Nolan Arenado, one of the two best defensive third baseman in the game who has 40-homer power.
Wisdom would get a chance to compete for at-bats if the Rangers don’t acquire a third baseman via free agency or trade.
The Rangers could also move Joey Gallo back to third, though he prefers the outfield.
The A’s-Rangers tie first came to light during the winter meetings.