Potential Jurickson Profar Trade Ideas with Elvis Andrus Locked Up Long Term

Jason MartinezContributor IApril 2, 2013

Profar could break in to the majors as a second baseman with Texas or another team's shortstop.
Profar could break in to the majors as a second baseman with Texas or another team's shortstop.Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

By signing Elvis Andrus to a contract extension that could keep him in Texas through at least 2018, the Rangers ensured that Jurickson Profar, Baseball Prospectus’ top-rated prospect in the game, will not be manning the shortstop position for them barring an injury. 

The 20-year-old could easily slide over to second base and form a very strong double-team duo with Andrus, with Ian Kinsler eventually moving over to first base or maybe even a corner outfield spot. 

So there certainly isn’t a rush or even a need to ever trade Profar. The question is whether he has more value to another team as a shortstop than he does to the Rangers as a second baseman. The answer is probably yes. 

And what would it take to land the top prospect in the game with six years of team control on his contract? A whole lot. It could be a superstar-caliber player with at least three or four years of control, a package of prospects and a major leaguer or maybe just another top five prospect in a straight swap. 

While most teams would want Profar, let’s take a look at a few specific teams that have a stronger need at shortstop and a potential package of players to make the deal happen. 


Minnesota Twins 

It may surprise you to know that the Twins have the fourth-ranked farm system in baseball, just behind St. Louis, Texas and San Diego. A lot of the talent is in the lower minors, including the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft, Byron Buxton, but they also have some big-time arms closing in on the majors. 

While they may not want to trade their potential five-tool center field prospect so quickly, and the Rangers might not want to give away such a talented major league-ready player for one who may not ever come close to his ceiling, the Twins have much more to offer, including power-hitting prospect Miguel Sano (pictured). 

They also have Pedro Florimon, Jr., who is a good defender but lacks any type of offensive ability. 


Potential trade package

Baseball Prospectus organizational prospect rank in parentheses 

3B/1B Miguel Sano (2)

OF Oswaldo Arcia (4)

RHP Kyle Gibson (3)

Three of the the Twins’ top five prospects for Profar? Sure, why not? Sano could hit 40-plus homers with the Rangers, although he may be limited to first base or designated hitter when he reaches the majors in a couple years.

Arcia, who had a .928 OPS between Double-A and High-A in 2012, could replace one of the free-agent-to-be corner outfielders, David Murphy or Nelson Cruz, in 2014.

Gibson, who looks strong after returning from Tommy John surgery, could potentially step into the Rangers' rotation in 2013. The offseason acquisitions of pitching prospects Trevor May and Alex Meyer give the Twins enough depth to shop one of the three.


New York Yankees

How do you replace Derek Jeter, a future Hall of Famer who has given the Yankees 17 seasons of greatness at shortstop? You don’t. But plugging in the top prospect in the game the year after he retires might be the best possible scenario.

No, Jeter hasn’t said if he is going to retire or not. But what if he does? Bleacher Report's lead baseball writer Zachary Rymer recently wrote about the odds that the captain will retire after 2013.

He’ll be 39 at the end of the season, but he was still pretty good in his age 38 season. If he finishes the year healthy, chances are good that he’d want to come back.

But if he doesn’t (he’s currently healing from offseason ankle surgery), the Yankees might want to find a capable replacement that won’t remind New York fans every other game how much better Jeter was.


Potential trade package 

Baseball Prospectus organizational prospect rank in parentheses

C Gary Sanchez (1)

OF Slade Heathcott (4)

RHP Mark Montgomery (9)

LHP Manny Bañuelos (former top prospect recovering from Tommy John surgery)

The Yankees don’t have the major league talent to offer, but they could still put together a pretty good package of young players. How about three of their top 10 prospects and a former top pitching prospect who should be ready to return near the start of the 2014 season.

Montgomery could help in the late innings as soon as the second half of 2013, an area that currently looks suspect for the Rangers, while Heathcott (pictured) gives them an outfield option for 2014.

It’s rare to see a package of prospects traded for another prospect. Profar is not your ordinary prospect, though, and this could be a special case since he would be replacing a Yankees legend.


Pittsburgh Pirates 

The Bucs have veteran shortstop Clint Barmes under contract for another season, although it’s very likely he’d move to the bench if the team traded for Profar.  

This deal would come out of nowhere, but Pittsburgh does have the minor league talent to possibly entice the Rangers. The elite prospect for elite prospect trade potential is there with Gerrit Cole (pictured) close to being major league ready. Cole was named the best pitching prospect in baseball (third overall) by Baseball Prospectus.


Potential trade package

Baseball Prospectus organizational prospect rank in parentheses

RHP Gerrit Cole (1)

IF/OF Alen Hanson (5)

Everything else being equal, an everyday shortstop still probably has more value than someone who takes the mound every five days and has a much higher risk of long-term injury.

So I evened things out by adding Hanson, a shortstop with huge offensive potential, but likely to end up at second base or the outfield once he gets to the majors in a few years. So at least Andrus won’t be blocking him.


St. Louis Cardinals

How interesting would it be for the Rangers to trade the No. 1 prospect in baseball for the No. 2 prospect in baseball, Oscar Taveras (pictured)? It makes some sense, considering the Cardinals have lost Rafael Furcal for the year and don’t have much depth behind Pete Kozma and Ryan Jackson at shortstop. Profar would solidify the position for years to come.

Taveras, on the other hand, is only blocked for another year in St. Louis and should settle in as middle-of-the-order force once he takes over for free-agent-to-be Carlos Beltran in right field permanently next season. If they traded Taveras for Profar, they could try and re-sign Beltran or explore free agency and trade markets to fill the spot, or they can move Allen Craig to right field and plug Matt Adams in at first base.


Potential trade package

Baseball Prospectus organizational prospect rank in parentheses

OF Oscar Taveras (1)

In Texas, Taveras would also likely take over a corner outfield spot in 2014 and probably sooner considering how injury-prone Nelson Cruz has been throughout his career.