Now that Jurickson Profar will be a semi-regular in the Texas lineup for at least the next couple of weeks as Ian Kinsler recovers from a strained intercostal, per Todd Wills of ESPNDallas.com, we can put those trade rumors from early in the season to rest for good, right? We could, but that's not fun. Here are a few trade ideas that I had in early April involving Profar.
Kinsler will be back. He was having a very good season (.869 OPS). And it's doubtful that he'll switch positions at this point of the season, especially coming back from an injury. So Profar might not have a big role for the Rangers, if any at all, as we approach the trade deadline.
Not that the 20-year-old Profar's trade value isn't already very high, but a few very solid weeks in the majors and he'll ensure that he's a top trade chip that would help the Rangers acquire any of the top players available this summer.
Who those top players will be is yet to be determined. We do know that the Rangers' current rotation includes two rookies, Justin Grimm and Nicholas Tepesch, and Josh Lindblom, whom the Rangers moved back into a starting role after spending the past few years as a reliever. Not exactly the kind of guys that strike fear into opposing teams.
Alexi Ogando is on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis. Colby Lewis, who is coming back from elbow surgery, isn't close to being ready after he was throwing in the mid-80s in a rehab start, and Matt Harrison won't return before August after back surgery. Starting pitching could be a target for the Rangers, and they could be very aggressive if the AL West battle is close. They currently have a 6.5-game lead over the second-place A's.
For a prospect like Profar to change teams, there will be need to be an All-Star-caliber player (or top prospect, as uncommon as those trades are) coming back. Here are five teams that could be keeping tabs on Profar—three with a top-of-the-rotation starter they might be willing to part with, a fourth with a top pitching prospect who could be major league-ready soon and another with a big-time power hitter who would make the Rangers' lineup downright scary.