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MLB trade rumors: Braves interested in Rangers' Jurickson Profar

Baseball's former top prospect could be on the move.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers
Former Rangers top prospect, future Brave?
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

He was baseball’s former top prospect seemingly eons ago (though really, it was only 2013), and because he’s still only 24, it’s not the least bit shocking that there’d be constant trade interest in versatile Rangers prospect Jurickson Profar. Indeed, the Braves have interest, reports FanRag’s Jon Heyman.

In roughly a full season’s worth of at bats at the MLB level, Profar has batted just .229, though he has popped 12 long balls and played replacement-level defense at five different positions: all four infield spots plus left field. He’s playing primarily shortstop at AAA Round Rock this season, batting an excellent .301 with a .819 OPS and an elite 21:22 BB:K ratio. All of this while hitting just two home runs, which is well below his potential; he’ll almost definitely show more power as the season moves forward.

Because he’s yet to prove himself at the major league level, myriad injury concerns, and free agency after the 2019 season, it’s tough to peg a value for Profar’s services. He almost definitely would not cost a top prospect or a valuable performer at the major league level, but he could certainly merit some mid-level prospects or an important secondary big-league piece. The Braves have plenty of pitching prospects, and the Rangers have made clear their desire to add pitching depth, if not players who can contribute in the show right away.

Long-term, it’s easy to see a fit for Profar in Atlanta. Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson have first base and shortstop locked down for the foreseeable future, but Brandon Phillips is a free agent after this season and third base has been a black hole for the club ever since Chipper Jones retired. Freeman, of course, has seen most of his innings there since returning from the DL because of Matt Adams' strong play, but Adams himself is a free agent after 2018 and has struggled against left-handed pitching, leaving Profar another spot to play.

As of now it’s unclear which other teams have interest in Profar—or how many—but the Rangers should be getting plenty of calls on a player they formerly had no intention of trading.