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ARLINGTON (CBS SPORTS) – With Rangers GM Jon Daniels saying Ian Kinsler will not shift to first base, it’s starting to look like prospect Jurickson Profar might begin next season in the minors. Is this the right move? Is he a candidate to be traded?
R.J. White: There’s nothing wrong with giving a soon-to-be 20-year-old another year in the minors, especially when he hasn’t even taken a swing in Triple-A. It helps that they don’t exactly need him in the big-league lineup right now. Profar’s play in Triple-A will likely dictate how early the Rangers go to him this season. In no way is he a trade candidate — if they haven’t dealt him for a guy like Justin Upton yet, on whom would they pull the trigger?
I can’t see it happening. However, Ian Kinsler’s play fell off last year, and he’s due quite a bit of money. I wonder if the Rangers could match up on a Kinsler trade with the Dodgers during the season, especially if they’re looking to add pitching. We know that Kinsler’s contract won’t faze the Dodgers’ pocketbook.
Chris Cwik: I agree with R.J. that he’s probably not going to be dealt. Every other team in the league knows the Rangers’ situation and has likely called asking if they would part with Profar. The fact that there’s been no indication that the Rangers are willing to deal him seems like he’s there to stay. Even if he begins the year in the minors, I don’t see him staying there all that long.
I don’t think Mitch Moreland is going to have a long leash, and if he gets off to a poor start, I could see the team shifting Kinsler to first to make room for Profar. Also, it’s not like Lance Berkman is a beacon of health. If he goes down, they could get creative with the DH spot and bring Profar up. When prospect rankings come out, there’s a very good chance that Profar is going to be a top-five guy on that list, with a shot at being No. 1. I think he forces his way to the Rangers early this season and still has a chance to break camp with the big-league club.
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