Outfielder Prof. Jurickson is among the prime free brokers that also stays unsigned and he’s drawing loads of curiosity across the league. He’s already been linked to the Yankees, Astros and Red Sox at varied factors all through the winter and it appears there are a number of extra groups concerned. Jon Morosi of MLB Network studies that the groups are keen on Bryan Reynolds are preserving tabs on Profar, a gaggle which incorporates the Marlins and Rangers.
Reynolds has been constantly in commerce rumors for fairly a while, which is pretty logical provided that he is emerged as an excellent participant on a rebuilding Pirates workforce. He will not be a free agent till after 2025 and the workforce might discover itself again in competition at the moment, however there would even be sense in exchanging his closing years of management for youthful gamers that may proceed to assist the membership past that timeframe . The Bucs might delay their relationship with Reynolds by extending him, however latest reporting signifies the edges have been about $50MM aside of their discussions, suggesting a deal is not more likely to get accomplished anytime quickly.
Various groups have tried to free Reynolds from Pittsburgh’s clutches over the previous yr or two and the participant himself has even requested for a commerce, however all studies have indicated that the Bucs have been sticking to a excessive asking worth in any commerce talks. Jon Heyman of The New York Post not too long ago reported that they’re in search of a return analogous to what the Nationals bought within the Juan Soto deal Given the problem in working one thing out with the Pittsburgh entrance workplace, it is comprehensible that golf equipment would look to alternate options like Profar.
There are some similarities between the 2 gamers as each are switch-hitting outfielders. They’re really not terribly far aside in age, regardless of Profar debuting all the way in which again in 2012. He was solely 19 years previous then and is now about to show 30 subsequent month. Reynolds is a few years youthful, turning 28 in simply over every week.
They are additionally each outfielders, though Reynolds has decidedly extra worth on protection provided that he is a satisfactory middle fielder. Teams will doubtless have various views on precisely how satisfactory he’s there, because the superior defensive metrics are cut up on the best way to grade his work up the center. He’s accrued 4 Outs Above Average in his profession at that spot however has -16 Defensive Runs Saved and a -7.1 from Ultimate Zone Rating. Profar, in the meantime, started his profession as an infielder however has progressively spent an increasing number of time within the outfield. Since 2019, he is made temporary appearances at second and first base however hasn’t appeared at shortstop or third base. Last yr, the Padres saved him completely in left area. He did spend 156 2/3 innings in middle area over 2020 and 2021 however wasn’t graded properly there and is probably going thought of a nook outfielder by most golf equipment.
At the plate, Reynolds and Profar have admirable qualities, however in numerous methods. Both gamers are good at getting on base, with Reynolds posting a .345 OBP final yr and a .361 mark for his profession. Profar is barely behind in that regard, with a .331 OBP in 2022 and .322 general. Reynolds can be forward within the energy division, hitting 27 dwelling runs final yr and 74 in his profession up to now. Profar hit 15 final yr and has solely 78 in his profession, regardless of greater than 1,000 further plate appearances in comparison with Reynolds. Profar’s work was sufficient for a 110 wRC+ final yr, 10% higher than the league common, however behind the 125 that Reynolds managed.
There’s little doubting that Reynolds is a extra engaging possibility than Profar however the latter possibility will price solely cash, permitting the buying membership to hold onto the pile of prospects they’d theoretically ship to Pittsburgh in a Reynolds deal. MLBTR predicted Profar might safe a two-year, $20MM deal firstly of the offseason. That was earlier than the market actually bought going and surpassed the expectations of many observers, though Profar lingering in the marketplace suggests no workforce has been desirous to blow him away by surging past that neighborhood.
The Rangers presently have a aggressive steadiness tax calculation of $219MM, per the calculations of Roster Resource. Signing somebody like Profar to about $10MM per yr would begin pushing them near the $233MM luxurious tax threshold. It’s unclear if that is any sort of barrier for the membership, nevertheless it’s one thing they must think about in the event that they determine to carry Profar into the fold. The Marlins, in the meantime, are nowhere close to the posh tax however are in considerably uncharted spending territory for them. Roster Resource has their payroll presently at $103MM. That’s properly past final yr’s $79MM mark, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts, and the very best because the Bruce Sherman-led group purchased the workforce from Jeffrey Loria in 2017. It’s unknown how way more they should work with however any additional spending would proceed to stretch them past the consolation zone of the previous few years.
Regardless of the ultimate price, there are logical causes for each groups to pursue outfield upgrades. The Rangers have Adolis García in proper area and Leody Taveras as a glove-first possibility in middle. They’ve been on the hunt for left area upgrades, provided that their present decisions make up a combined bag of imperfect choices. Brad Miller, Josh Smith, Ezequiel Durán and Mark Mathias are on the roster, though they’ve all spent extra time on the infield than the outfield of their careers. Furthermore, all however Mathias are coming off poor seasons on the plate. Bubba Thompson is a extra easy answer since he is an outfielder and might no less than steal some bases, however he strikes out a ton and hit .265/.302/.312 in his main league debut.
The Marlins have been in search of outfield upgrades for fairly a while however added a number of choices into the corners final yr by signing Avisaíl García and Jorge Soler. Both gamers had disappointing seasons in 2022 however are nonetheless underneath contract for 2023, with Soler seemingly ticketed for loads of time because the designated hitter after he handled again spasms within the later elements of final season. That might depart one nook out there for somebody like Profar, though in addition they have Bryan De La Cruz, Jesus Sanchez and JJ Bleday presently lined as much as battle for the 2 spots subsequent to Garcia. None of these three are actually established and an exterior addition might bump all of them down the depth charts till they take steps ahead in cementing themselves. De La Cruz hits right-handed and the opposite two from the left aspect, which might permit them to kind a platoon within the middle with one participant getting nudged to the bench or the minors.