Jurickson Profar, traded by the Texas Rangers to the Oakland A’s in a three-way deal that was viewed with some skepticism by Rangers fans last winter, is apparently no longer the Oakland starting second baseman, according to news from the Bay Area yesterday. Corban Joseph was promoted by Oakland to the major leagues and is expected to be the starting second baseman, at least against righthanded pitchers, leaving Profar in a bench role.
Profar had a .254/.335/.458 season in 2018 while playing all the infield positions for the Rangers, and with two years of team control left, Oakland grabbed him with an eye towards him being their every day second baseman. Tampa Bay was also involved in the deal, which saw the Rangers send Profar to Oakland and Rollie Lacy to the Rays in exchange for pitchers Brock Burke, Kyle Bird and Yoel Espinal from Tampa and international bonus money and infielder Eli White from the A’s.
Profar has put up a .205/.268/.382 slash line this year for the A’s, however, and his defensive woes at second base, particularly with his throwing, have resulted in him posting a 0.7 bWAR for the year. He’s probably going to get around $5 million if he goes to arbitration this offseason — 2020 would be his final year of team control — but it seems like there’s a decent chance he will end up being non-tendered.
And if Profar is non-tendered, would the Rangers have interest in him? Texas would have to feel Profar could handle third base on an everyday basis, and I’m not sure they see him as being competent enough there defensively to be a viable option. That said, that’s an area the Rangers will likely look to address this offseason, and if they miss out on Anthony Rendon and Josh Donaldson, Profar may be someone who could be under consideration.