If anyone has followed the MLB ‘hot stove’ as of late, they may have already grabbed a jacket because its been about as cold as the January temperatures outside.
This is especially true for the Texas Rangers as General Manager, Jon Daniels, continues to sit on his hands when it comes to acquiring more talent this offseason. Citing “needing to develop new talent” as the reasoning for inaction.
If Texas plans to compete in a star-studded and Astro-ran American League West, they will need to make a few moves to improve the lineup or pitching staff.
Whether these moves are via free agents or trades, the need is there for a shift in personnel…however, trade hypotheticals are much more fun.
One of the best trade pieces that the Rangers have to offer up, without hindering the already thin pitching staff, is Jurickson Profar.
Jurickson Profar IF – to Yankees for Jonathan Holder RHP & Phillip Diehl LHP
Profar, who has battled injuries and failed expectations throughout his time in Texas has been reported recently to have caught the eye of New York executives.
In 206 games with Texas, Profar hit .229 with 12 HR, 53 RBI, and a .309 OBP. The most negative stat was 142 strikeouts in 633 plate appearances.
Despite minimum playing time while in the major leagues, Profar possesses raw athleticism and a manageable contract that could provide the Yankees with a utility player for their upcoming run at the AL East.
The Yankees have infield depth throughout their farm system and could potentially use depth that as a safety net if Profar doesn’t work out. Also, with the return of the ‘Bronx Bombers’ (With the addition of Carlos Stanton) there is a little freedom in experimenting with the 7-8-9 spots in the order.
Now, on to the return.
For Texas, the attraction should come with the abundance of pitching in New York and potentially a chance to sharpen the back of the bullpen or perhaps add a young starter.
One young pitcher is 24-year-old reliever Jonathan Holder who could be an instant addition to the major-league bullpen.
Holder is a big, physical right hander listed at 6-foot-2 and 235 lbs. A three-pitch reliever with a fastball that will touch 96 mph and sink coming in to a right-handed hitter. His curveball complements a big-league fastball as his go-to put-away pitch alongside his changeup.
He has had a cup of coffee in the majors over the past two seasons but didn’t stay too long due to the depth the Yankees already have in the bullpen.
Last season in 37 games Holder posted 39.1 IP with a 3.89 ERA, 40 K, and 8 BB.
Despite being another right-hander in a right-hander heavy bullpen, having a young setup man or long reliever that has a high ceiling could be the best fit for Profar.
However, in order to reach the price tag for Profar, the Rangers would need another young arm that could progress quickly through the minors but not provide a dent in the Yankees farm system.
That arm would ideally be Phillip Diehl who is currently with the single-A Charleston RiverDogs. The Cincinnati native and draft pick out of Louisiana Tech has done nothing but dominate the lower minor leagues in his first two seasons.
Over 43 games, Diehl had tallied a 14-3 record, 2.95 ERA, .226 OBA, 101 K, 28 BB, and 5 starts. With all of his starts coming at the high-A level, there is a plan for the Yankees to progress him as a starter.
With a low-90s fastball from the left side, great command, and above-average movement, there is substantial potential for the Rangers organization to use him the same way.
Getting rid of these two arms would also make room for the potential acquisition of Yu Darvish if the Yankees want to continue the pursuit of the former Rangers starter.
If they decide not to pursue Darvish, New York may want to receive one more prospect from Texas. Assuming that was the case, Daniels may be willing to part with a player like center-fielder Pedro Gonzalez or utility infielder Brendon Davis to make the deal work.
Let me clarify, this is NOT a prediction or a report, but merely a single example on how the Rangers can still improve a major league roster and try to compete in a tough division this season.
The change of scenery could be what’s best for Profar to get a fresh start, and the Rangers to add a major-league reliever and a little more talent in the farm system.
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