Sep 17, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Jurickson Profar (13) stands in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. The Rangers won 7-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers Must Solve Their Middle Infield Problem Before Next Season

Sep 26, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Jurickson Profar (13) hits a walk off home run during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

In this long hard offseason the Texas Rangers have many questions that need answers:

–          Who will be the catcher next season?

–          What will become of Mitch Moreland and the 1st base situation?

–          Will we bring Nelson Cruz back and what will it cost to do so?

–          What about Joe Nathan?

The list goes on and on as you can imagine. But the question that needs to be addressed first is what to do with the three players occupying the 2 positions in the middle infield.  While the Rangers lack players at other positions, the middle infield is a completely different story. What the Rangers decide to do at SS and 2B will have a big impact at the questions elsewhere.

Currently Ian Kinsler is entrenched at 2B and Elvis Andrus at SS. That leaves the young and promising Jurickson Profar as the odd man out. Profar, recently regarded as the top prospect in all of baseball, holds excellent value and will certainly be a valuable piece on the trade market.

Andrus and Kinsler are excellent players but they are both paid a ridiculous amount and will be hard to trade. As much as we all like Profar there is really no way the Rangers can keep him unless they move him to the outfield (which is a bad idea).

I’m still shaking my head at how the Rangers chose Andrus at a ridiculous price over Profar at a manageable salary – but what’s done is done. Andrus is here to stay and unless Ian Kinsler is moved to 1B, Profar must be traded to fill other talent gaps on the roster.

WHAT we can get in return for Profar is a topic for another day. Giancarlo Stanton is name that repeatedly comes up as a Profar trade option but the way things stand now, it’s going to take more than Profar to pry Stanton away.

Regardless of who the Rangers are targeting, it needs to be done sooner rather than later because there are many other questions that need answering this offseason.

Whether the Rangers decide to move Kinsler to 1B or to trade Profar actions should be taken sooner rather than later. The decisions made in the middle infield will have a big impact on what the Rangers do elsewhere.

Next Week: We will look at the next question mark facing the Rangers this offseason.

Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected]. You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Reid on twitter @ReidDHanson

Tags: Elvis Andrus Giancarlo Stanton Ian Kinsler Jurickson Profar Texas Rangers

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