The Texas Rangers were one of the less active teams from the past off-season, though it wasn’t necessarily for the lack of trying.
Whether it’s Zack Greinke or Josh Hamilton, the team simply wound up being out-bid by rival suitors; it’s not as though the rumors have stopped, though, since as the team continues to have glaring needs in the starting rotation and outfield, with David Price and Giancarlo Stanton being the buzzy names that have been thrown around.
Stanton is still is the mix of course, with a number of prominent baseball folks suggesting that a Jurickson Profar/Mike Olt package might be close enough to get it done. That’s still a work is progress, as the team is reportedly doing “prep work” on what it might actually take.
Alas, the Miami Marlins have not made the slugger available … yet.
Now, to be fair, it’s not that the St. Louis Cardinals have made top prospect Oscar Taveras available either, but that happens to be the next big name to resurface recently (after preseason rumors were shut down):
Don’t rule out a Profar-Taveras deal: insider.espn.go.com/blog/the-gms-o…
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) April 15, 2013
At first glance, you’d think that this is a pretty ideal fit: both players are top prospects who are unproven in the bigs, both teams are effectively dealing from strength, and both could use a long-term option at the respective players’ positions (shortstop and outfield).
If that’s the case, then why the lack of traction on the deal?
Well, as Rick Gosselin of SportsDay puts it, the unlikelihood of such a deal might stem from the fact that Profar might not be enough to get the deal done. The analyst says that “the fact that Profar is playing shortstop in Round Rock bothers [him]”, if only because it lets other teams know that the prospect is being shopped, which may lead other GMs to be more guarded with their prospects … like Taveras.
He’s not the only one to bring this up either, as ESPN’s Jim Bowden suggested earlier over the weekend that “It’s not flip-flopping prospects with Taveras. You put him in the same breath as Stanton.”
Therein lies the reason why this Taveras deal is unlikely to happen. If it’s going to cost the Rangers a similar price to get a top prospect (assuming he’s even available) as it would to get someone with more proven experience like Stanton, why not wait until the latter route opens up?
Right now, the only constant is that the Rangers are still looking to deal for either a pitcher or an outfielder, and they’re being quite transparent with their intention with Profar as far as his future with the team goes.
Whether this will help them get what they’re looking for, though, remains to be seen.