Jurickson Profar never fully lived up to the hype in Texas. Now, the Oakland A's hope a change of scenery completely will bring out what once made him the top-ranked prospect in baseball.
The A's acquired Profar, a switch-hitting infielder, in a three-team trade with the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan first reported and the teams later confirmed.
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This deal likely means the end of A's fan favorite Jed Lowrie, who's a free agent and could be demanding more than what the team is willing to pay. NBC Sports Bay Area's Ben Ross reported last week that the A's were close to moving on from Lowrie, and it now appears they have.
Profar's switch-hitting and ability to play second base, third base and shortstop make him an intriguing fit in Oakland. He might play in a second base platoon with prospect Franklin Barreto, who also could move to the outfield if needed, as A's general manager David Forst mentioned last week at the MLB Winter Meetings.
Profar, who'll turn 26 in February, has been mentioned as a trade target for years, as he failed to live up to comparisons to other power-hitting shortstops in parts of four major league seasons. He was ranked the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball in 2012 by many outlets. But 2018 was a bit of a peek at what Profar might be, as he hit 20 home runs, drove in 77 runs and provided a .254/.335/.458 slash line.
The cost of acquiring Profar was right-hander Emilio Pagan, who went 3-1 with a 4.35 ERA in 55 games for Oakland last season, and minor leaguer Eli White. Pagan went to Tampa Bay and White to Texas in the deal.
The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser pointed out White is a versatile player who has impressed.
Profar is arbitration eligible for two more seasons, then would be a free agent in 2020, when he'd still be in his baseball prime. So, the trade could be an opportunity to prove himself, and for the A's to have a young star players at a bargain rate for two seasons.