Barely one week after taking part in a three-team deal involving Jake Bauers, the Tampa Bay Rays are at it again, working with the Oakland Athletics and the Texas Rangers on a deal headlined by infielder Jurickson Profar. In the trade, RP Emilio Pagan, MiLB RHP Rollie Lacy, and a Round A Competitive Balance Pick (38th overall) go to the Rays. Profar heads to Oakland, and the Rangers receive four prospects plus $750,000 in International Slot Money.
— MLB (@MLB) December 21, 2018
Jurickson Profar Traded to Oakland Athletics in Three-Team Deal
Pagan failed to build on his strong 2017 performance (2-3 with a 3.22 ERA and 0.93 WHIP), regressing to post solid, yet disappointing numbers in 2018 (3-1 with a 4.35 ERA and 1.19 WHIP). Advanced looks at his performance were mixed (4.92 FIP, 4.75 xFIP, 3.86 SIERA), and he struggled to limit hard contact and keep the ball in the yard (+7.6% Hard%, +4% HR/FB%). Lacy (2.97 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 10.0 SO/9) pitched well in Single-A but struggled in 37.2 IP when promoted to Advanced-A. In addition to these pieces, the Rays add a top-40 selection in the upcoming amateur draft.
The Rangers add three interesting prospect arms from Tampa Bay in LHP Brock Burke (1.95 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 11.55 K/9 in Double-A), LHP Kyle Bird (1.94 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 10.51 K/9 in Triple-A), and RHP Yoel Espinal (1.98 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 11.69 K/9 in Double-A). Infielder Eli White (.306/.388/.450 with nine home runs and 18 steals in Double-A) came over from the Athletics as well, in addition to a total of $750,000 in International Slot Money.
In Profar, the Athletics receive a 25-year-old former number one prospect who finally lived up to his advanced billing with a solid showing in 2018. Profar slashed .254/.335/.458 with 20 home runs and 10 steals, generating 2.0 bWAR for the season while spending time all over the diamond at 1B, 3B, SS, and 2B, the position he will man for Oakland in 2019.
Though Pagan adds another relief option for the Rays in 2019, their acquisition of a top-40 Competitive Balance Pick headlines their return, especially as none of the arms they gave up ranked among their top 30 prospects. The Rangers flesh out their system a bit and add several arms who could see time with the club as they rebuild for the future. Adding $750,000 of International Slot Money helps this process as well.
Profar is an interesting addition for the Athletics in that he does not automatically make them better in 2019. Jed Lowrie generated 4.8 bWAR at 2B for them in 2018, leaving a net loss of -2.8 bWAR based on Profar’s value last season. However, as Profar is only 25 (Lowrie is 34), Oakland lands a younger player with two more years of control and a pedigree that could bring stronger production along the way.
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