The Texas Rangers have a great problem on the left side of their infield with four studs and three spots. That typically means someone is going to get the boot while the Rangers improve a different part of their lineup and/or roster. One of the latest MLB rumors has Texas trading top prospect Jurickson Profar to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for ace pitcher David Price.
For years, the Rangers had a ton of hitting and not much pitching, which usually left them on the outside looking in when the playoffs rolled around. That changed in 2010 when Texas traded for Cliff Lee and rode his left arm all the way to the franchise’s first World Series appearance. The Rangers have been an AL powerhouse ever since and are one more key pitcher away from being World Series favorites. If this latest rumor turns out to be true, that might just be the case.
Of course, many Rangers fans don’t want to see Profar moved. Elvis Andrus, who Profar will presumably replace sooner or later, is the name being thrown around in relation to trades. At least he was until now.
Trading Profar instead of Andrus could actually be the smarter move by the Rangers. Andrus is just 24 and is a super shortstop with a solid bat who has excellent chemistry with Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler. That’s not something that can just be replaced and although Profar seems like a lock to fill any void necessary, that’s no guarantee.
Bringing in a pitcher like Price would propel Texas to the top of every set of MLB power rankings out there, and for good reason. Price would become the new ace in rotation that already features former No. 1 options Yu Darvish and Colby Lewis to go along with another All Star in Matt Harrison and a youngster with a lot of promise in Derek Holland. At 27, Price’s current contract would keep him with the Rangers for at least the next three years. Texas would have arguably the AL’s best rotation by adding a left-hand Cy Young Award winner with a career ERA of 3.16.
It’s a sticky situation, but either Profar or Andrus will be moved eventually, but a deal to bring in Price while letting go of MLB’s top prospect would not be risky considering Price is a proven veteran who can carry a rotation. Rangers fans might wince at first, but they’d get over it after Price’s first start in Texas if this deal went through.