Could a Former Top Prospect be the Answer at SS?

Over the past few days, MLBTradeRumors has written that both Oakland and San Diego have held talks w/ Texas about Jurickson Profar. So.. could he be the answer for Pittsburgh's hole at short?

The simple answer is probably a succinct "no." But I love to deal in hypotheticals. So let's start w/ the first condition that he is available. Profar was the top prospect in baseball a few years ago, but he was a bit slow to develop. Last year was his first year as a full-time starter and he was pretty impressive (from the numbers). He had a WAR of 2.9 and a wOBA of .341. He hit 20 home runs and 35 doubles. And he has the positional flexibility to play 2B/SS/3B/OF but could be predominantly the starting shortstop.


So moving to the next step.. let's say Pittsburgh identified him as a potential trade target. I'm going to get into surplus value for a quick second. For those that don't know, that's simply total value provided minus salary. We can get a rough estimate by doing some projection/guessing. Profar is entering his 3rd year of Arb (he actually has 4 years of arbitration) and is under team control through 2020. His current salary is ~$1.6M, if we give him a GENEROUS plus up for his play last season (to say ~$6M) + another generous plus up for his final arbitration year (again a guess, but $10M), that puts his remaining salary at about $16M over 2 seasons.

His Steamer projection for 2019 is 2.5 WAR and if we use a discount (of 5.6%) for future value, his 2020 WAR is ~2.4. If the going rate per win is $9M, his total value is in the $43.76M.


So Profar's surplus value is $27.76M. If we use Fangraph's new prospect valuations that were released this offseason, the following players are worth $28M:

Travis Swaggerty

Cole Tucker

Oneil Cruz

So my question is just that: Would you trade one of those three prospects (and which) for a solution to the shortstop issue on the current team? Or rather, would Texas accept this offer?

For the record, I don't think trades that include Cervelli or anyone on the current roster make much sense to a rebuilding team, this would offer a true prospect (without dealing Hayes/Keller) to turn around Texas while improving the Pirates in the near term. I also wouldn't want to deal lesser prospects in bulk and deplete the farm.

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