There is no secret that the San Diego Padres are in need of a shortstop of the future. The team went through the 2015 season with Alexi Amarista, Clint Barmes, Will Middlebrooks and Jedd Gyorko playing short. None of them were able to play consistently and the team suffered from a lack of quality at a vital position.
Could the answer now and for the future be Jurickson Profar from the Texas Rangers? He has struggled to stay healthy, but is still very young and has a huge upside. The 22-year-old switch hitter has played in 94 career Major League games and is hitting .231 with seven home runs and 28 RBI’s.
He has very limited time in the Major Leagues, but has shown that he could be ready to compete at the higher level. Unfortunately he has suffered two season ending injuries on his throwing shoulder. The right handed thrower, had a rocket arm before the surgery. He was a solid defense shortstop, and there are some legitimate concerns about his health. Rightfully so, but switch hitting shortstops with power and speed don’t grow on trees.
On Thursday Profar played his first professional game back since two shoulder issues on his throwing arm. He had a great debut for the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League. Profar hit a game tying home run in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs to help guide his team to the win. Profar went 2-4 on the day with a double and that game tying home run. He served as the teams DH and will be eased into playing time on the field.
The fact he is swinging the bat with authority is a positive sign. His health is a huge factor on his value. Most teams will be really hesitant to trade anything of real value to the Rangers for a player who has missed the last two seasons. Profar is 22, and still could have a very bright future. You still have to be concerned that the two years of inactivity have stunted his growth.
His value is really low right now and if the Padres get a opportunty to acquire him, they should take that chance. Perhaps a deal can be worked out where both teams are improved. A.J. Preller and Rangers G.M. John Daniels have a great relationship and could easily make something happen if the mood strikes them.
Something as simple as a Cashner for Profar deal might be beneficial to both teams. Andrew Cashner is in the last year of his contract and is a native Texan. The Rangers are in need of starting pitching and Profar fits the bill for what the Padres need. The deal could easily be expanded as the Rangers need catching help and the Padres have Derek Norris and Austin Hedges. Preller surely knows the Rangers farm system as he worked deep within the front office. The two teams could match-up very well on a potential deal.
The need for a shortstop is clear, but the Padres are rightfully focusing their efforts on a manager for the time being. Once a skipper is selected the team can focus on trades and free agent signings. The new manager will have an important say in how the 2016 Padres should be constructed. This off-season will still be an interesting one for Padres fans. Let’s see what direction the Padres choose to go in order to improve their team.