MLB Trade Rumors: The Philadelphia Phillies have pursued Manny Machado aggressively, but with a Machado deal seemingly imminent and a deal supposedly in place, it appears the Los Angeles Dodgers, rather than the Phillies, are the team poised to snag Machado. Jon Heyman says that the Phillies still will be in the market for a shortstop, however, saying they’d prefer one that is “a threat with the bat.”
Is that Jurickson Profar’s music I hear?
Heyman notes that the shortstops on the market are mostly defense-first guys, and if the Phillies are looking for a shortstop with some pop, they could do worse than Profar, who is slashing .243/.326/.430 on the season, and who is under team control through 2020. And as we discussed yesterday, they could be in on Cole Hamels, so maybe the Rangers and Phillies could figure out a Hamels/Profar/relief pitcher or two package.
The Rangers, meanwhile, have hung onto Profar to this point, and have been validated to a certain extent by virtue of him performing well this year. That said, his path to playing time in 2019 in Texas is not clear...Elvis Andrus, having missed a couple of months with an injury and having struggled since his return, seems less likely to opt out after the 2018 season (and the Rangers seem committed to keeping him around regardless), Rougned Odor has shown enough offensive and defensive improvement as of late that you feel better about sticking him with, and Adrian Beltre has indicated a desire to play for Texas in 2019 (if he plays at all). Plus, Isiah Kiner-Falefa has impressed, and seems to have earned the team’s faith to the point that he would be trusted with semi-regular playing time at any of the three infield positions going forward, should that be needed.
That said, Philadelphia deciding to trade for Profar assumes that they trust his defense — and in particular, his throwing arm — at shortstop, and like the bat enough to give up something of value for him. Profar’s erratic throwing arm has been an issue for much of 2018, and with Cesar Hernandez holding down second base, the Phillies wouldn’t seem inclined to acquire Profar with an eye towards putting him at second base. This also assumes the Phillies would be more interested in getting a player like Profar who still is under team control for a while, rather than someone who would be a rental before letting J.P. Crawford get another shot at the position in 2019.
I’ve seen nothing linking Profar to Philadelphia, and I have no idea if there’s any interest by the Phillies at all. But with them apparently missing out on Machado, the possibility is something I think is worth at least throwing out there, particularly given that I think there’s a good chance Profar is someone the Rangers will be inclined to listen on in the coming weeks.