With the Texas Rangers pulling the trigger on a deal sending second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers for first baseman Prince Fielder, the door is now open for Jurickson Profar to take over as the starting second baseman.
The deal was reported by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
The Rangers and Tigers have agreed on a blockbuster deal to send Prince Fielder to Texas for Ian Kinsler, pending physicals and the approval of at least Fielder, CBSSports.com has learned.
There was no word yet of any other players being involved, so it may just be a one-for-one swap of stars. While Fielder's salary is much larger, it wasn't certain how much money was involved.
Heyman's report points out that Fielder does have a limited no-trade clause that he would have to waive, but "the early word was that he was likely to do so."
Without such a deal, Kinsler would have stood in the way of Profar becoming the Rangers' starting second baseman for the time being, and that's especially true considering Kinsler has been a productive player for Texas during his career.
Profar was once one of the top prospects in baseball. His ceiling in MLB is considered much higher than that of what the 31-year-old Kinsler is capable of producing.
In 2013, Profar appeared in 85 games with the Rangers and posted a lackluster .234 average with six homers and 26 RBI. Profar played in 32 games (29 starts) at second base, as well as getting brief stints at third, shortstop and even the outfield.
While his offensive and defensive numbers (four errors at second, eight in total) weren't exactly ideal, Profar is only 20 (21 in February) and still has plenty of time to develop into a star.
Do you like the Kinsler-Fielder trade?
Furthermore, a more consistent role on the team and more playing time will no doubt help him become a better player day to day, both at the plate and in the field.
It remains to be seen if Profar will actually pan out, but there's no doubt it's time for the highly touted youngster to start becoming the player he's been expected to become. Profar will get his opportunity next season now that Kinsler's days in Texas are over.
At the end of the day, this trade not only gives the Rangers a chance to develop their top young player, they also add a top-notch offensive upgrade at first base for years to come.