With Winter Meetings in full swing, the Cubs rumors are swirling. Could the team be looking to shore up the infield with the versatile Jurickson Profar?
As the Winter Meetings begin, Cubs rumors and swirlings are running rampant. Reports from Cubs Insider’s Tom Loxas have linked Texas Rangers utilityman Jurickson Profar to the Cubs as a possible target this offseason.
Profar, just 25, has the ability to play all over the infield, which is already attractive to a team whose infield isn’t locked up quite yet.
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But is Profar worth trading for? This is not a guy that has really established himself yet even after several seasons at the big league level. He is, however, still very young and under team control until 2021. A move for Profar is more of banking on potential, which may make some people weary.
What’s he done to-date?
Profar broke into the bigs at age 19 in 2012 with the Rangers. He signed with the organization in 2009 as an amateur free agent. Overall he has played in 352 games and is slashing .240/.321/.387 with 32 home runs and a .708 OPS.
Last season he played in a career-high 146 games (he never broke the 100-game mark before that) and slashed .254/.335/.458 with 20 home runs, 77 RBI and was a 2.9 fWAR player.
It is also worth noting that Profar spent most of his time either at short or third last year and put up a -7.1 UZR/150 at short and -11.2 UZR/150 at second, but did post an 11.5 UZR/150 over at first and 8.7 UZR/150 at second. Take that as you will for defensive evaluation, but overall it was overall the best year of his career for him in 2018.
It is also worth noting that last year was the first season he spent his entire season with the Major League club. In previous years (averaging 39 MLB games a year since 2013) he split time between Texas and the minors. In fact, he spent all of 2015 in Double and Single-A ball after playing 94 MLB games from 2012-2013. Injuries have also been a factor a few years back, so he has been up and down throughout his career.
Should the Cubs go after him?
Last year indicates that after getting healthy and consistent playing time in the majors that he can be the productive player he was thought to be. But, he is still in a sense a project/potential piece. He will need to show that he can build on what he did last year for him to prove the hype. There are still those who believe he can be that.
The Cubs may see this as an opportunity to grow this kid if they get him at a reasonable price. Heck, they can stay with their common theme in trading with the Rangers. It can also be argued that they are in a spot which they do not have the time or want to spend resources on a potential piece and that established players need to be acquired to add to the team.
This whole situation likely depends on the price and how much Theo Epstein and company see in him. Keep in mind, part of this evaluation likely hinges on what the team plans on doing with their young infielder of their own in Addison Russell.