What Would Jurickson Profar Get in the Trade Market?

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Sep 7, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Jurickson Profar (13) in the dugout before the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Though he had a decidedly less than impressive first season, Jurickson Profar is still a 21 year old shortstop with loads of potential. Especially with the offensive vacuum that is present day shortstops, even an adequate bat will translate into a big return.

But finding comparable deals to the one Profar could net is rather difficult, mostly because trading a top-shelf prospect without either an established veteran (Wil Myers and James Shields) or lottery tickets, either of the prospect variety or change-of-scenery candidates (Trevor Bauer and Drew Stubbs, others).

One example that sticks out to me is the Jesus Montero-Michael Pineda trade made before this season. Though this trade did feature a lottery ticket (Jose Campos, now a decent prospect for the Yankees and Hector Noesi for the Mariners), it was pretty close to straight-up. Also, it featured a talented bat (at least though so at the time) at an offensively weak position (catcher).

Sep 7, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Jurickson Profar (13) makes a play during the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

In terms of WAR, no one has really won yet. Jesus Montero, according to Fangraphs, posted a -.04 WAR, while Pineda didn’t play in the majors during the regular season. His WAR was obviously zero. But the trade can’t be evaluated based on results, partly because it is too early to say Pineda will not shake off the injury (he did okay in fielding-independent metrics in the minors) or to say Montero won’t find his stroke (this is more of a stretch).

Also (obviously), neither team knew Montero was going to suck or Pineda was going to get injured.

The trade has to be evaluated based on what each team thought they were getting. The Mariners thought they were finally getting an offensive force at catcher and the Yankees a young, durable number 2 behind CC Sabathia with the potential to eclipse him. Pretty much every adjective in the previous sentence has proven false. Montero is the worst defensive  catcher in the majors, isn’t hitting at all, Pineda fell apart and CC Sabathia isn’t even an ace anymore (or at least doesn’t pitch like it).

Still, treat Profar as Montero. Profar doesn’t have the power Montero was thought to possess, but he is a better defender.  His struggles this season may knock him down from the top prospect to a top ten one, but that puts him in exactly the same category as Montero. Baseball America ranked Montero as the 6th best prospect, but let’s call Profar 4th  (just throwing a number out there without regards to who is 4th this year), since his defense is vastly better.

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