The Oakland Athletics’ seem willing to move on from the Jurickson Profar experiment. His down year led many to believe the team made a big mistake dealing Emilio Pagan for him.
The Oakland A’s were looking for a replacement for Jed Lowrie at second base before the 2019 season. They were after a cost-efficient player that the team could control. Lowrie was bound to get a bigger offer that the A’s couldn’t match elsewhere.
Profar coming off a breakout season with the Texas Rangers put up a .253/.335/.458 slashing line. He hit 20 home runs and drove in 77 runs, his strikeout rate was low and he showed power to all of the field. His versatility was something the A’s coveted as well, as he could play anywhere on the infield as well as in the outfield.
The trade would save the A’s money on their payroll compared to Lowrie. Lowrie would make $10 million on the market in 2019, Profar would make $3.6 million. The trade seemed like a no-brainer when it was put on paper.
Pagan struggled in his first year in Oakland. He was shuttled back-and-forth between the big league club and AAA. So Oakland, on paper was able to part with the young right-hander because the club seemed to have a variety of arms.
Unfortunately, things on paper and the finished product vary a lot. The A’s bullpen struggled badly, Blake Treinen and Lou Trivino each regressed, Fernando Rodney lasted a few games before being designated. Free agent acquisition Joakim Soria wasn’t very good. Only Liam Hendriks really stepped up in his role.
It’s safe to say after the finished product, the A’s could’ve used Pagan. Pagan would flourish in 2019 with Tampa Bay, seizing the closers role, he would go on to save 20 games and have a 2.31 ERA. What he really excelled in was his strikeout rate, as he totaled 96 strikeouts in 70 innings of work.
Profar would not provide the same value for Oakland. He would struggle all season long at the plate and graded out as one of the worst defenders in baseball. His batting splits of .218/.301/.410 were all down from the year before.
On the defensive side it was very noticeable. He had 13 errors at second base and his fielding percentage was .973. To add insult to injury, he was responsible for -10 defensive-runs saved.
Profar was benched late in the season for guys such as Franklin Barreto and Sheldon Neuse. It remains to be seen if either one of those guys will step up and take the opportunity full-time. But it goes to show that Oakland will be after a second baseman this offseason.
Ken Rosenthal reported Tuesday night that Oakland would be shopping Profar along with other players. Oakland seemingly believes they can get better value for less money. I would have to agree with that statement, due to the fact Profar doesn’t seem to be a good fit.
There won’t be much trade market, but at least they can get out of having to pay him in arbitration. It was a short stint in Oakland, one that didn’t work out. It will be interesting to see if Profar’s next stop yields better results.