The Texas Rangers have a great problem in that the 4-6 combination in their infield has three seemingly immovable parts. Shortstop Elvis Andrus, second baseman Ian Kinsler and 19-year-old phenom Jurickson Profar are vying for two spots in the infield and only one of them is guaranteed a spot and that’s the youngster. That means either Andrus or Kinsler is going to be moved–one way or another–and Andrus’ participation in the World Baseball Classic for Team Venezuela could make him the odd man out since Profar will be around for Spring Training.
Kinsler has made it clear he doesn’t want to move and it’s unlikely that will happen since he just signed a new deal that will keep him very happy financially in Texas through the 2018 MLB season. Andrus, on the other hand, will be a free agent in 2015 and hasn’t had much to say on the Rangers’ sticky infield situation. Needless to say, his absence from Spring Training certainly doesn’t help as it’s looking more and more like the Rangers’ starting shortstop will be wearing No. 1 instead of No. 2 sooner rather than later.
Of course, the question then becomes when will Andrus be traded? Speculation in Arlington is that Profar will start the season with Triple-A Round Rock and then come up whenever Andrus is moved, which would be a smart move by Texas. The Rangers have holes to fill in their roster if they want to make a third World Series trip in four years and a player like Andrus could be used to trade for another starting pitcher or a right-fielder if Nelson Cruz gets into more trouble than originally thought. Either way, Profar is here to stay and it’s looking more and more like Andrus is not.