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.
Welcome to Oakland, Jurickson Profar! Last season, Profar had career highs in nearly every offensive category, including home runs (20), RBI (77) and walks (54). He was one of just five American Leaguers with at least 35 doubles, 20 home runs, 75 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 2018. pic.twitter.com/butSYKz0sN— Oakland A's (@Athletics) December 21, 2018
Full trade, sources tell Yahoo Sports:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 21, 2018
Oakland gets: Jurickson Profar
Texas gets: Brock Burke, Eli White, Kyle Bird, Yoel Espinal, international $
Tampa Bay gets: 38th pick in 2019 draft, Emilio Pagan, Rollie Lacy
Oakland’s calculus is clear: Profar is a soon-to-be-26-year-old coming off a breakout season with two years of club control, and he can slide in at 2B full-time or play a superutility role. His bat-to-ball ability is important for a team with a lot of swing-and-miss like Oakland.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 21, 2018
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.
Eli White, a former Clemson player who played SS, 2B, 3B and OF, hit .306 at Double-A Midland and .344 in the Arizona Fall League; development people liked him a lot.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) December 21, 2018
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.