Padres take a risk with this 26-year old
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The Padres, who have been rather busy the last couple days, have made another move to add to their lineup.
On Monday, the Athletics and Padres agreed to a deal that would send Profar to San Diego.
Here’s how the deal breaks down:
Padres Acquire Jurickson Profar
Athletics Acquire Austin Allen and a PTBNL
This move has been in the works for a while now. AJ Preller, the current Padres GM, was one of the people who fought for the Rangers to sign Profar back in 2009. Plus, ever since Profar was on the trading block the Padres have had interest, and now that his value is at its lowest point, it couldn’t have been a better time to acquire the 26 year old second baseman/shortstop.
Let’s breakdown what each team is getting in this deal.
The Athletics walk away with a 25-year old catcher in Allen, who can slot right into the backup role for the A’s. This lefty is tall and bulky, built much like a linebacker, and is fairly versatile. He can catch, play first base and could get opportunities to DH. He has a good bat that mixes with acceptable defense.
His swing is long at times, which decreases his bat speed. He also has a tendency to struggle to see a breaking ball and will get out in front on these pitches, which leads to bad swings and pop ups. However, Allen has proved that he can hit at the highest level of the minors. This year, in 67 games at Triple-A EL Paso, Allen hit .330/.379/.663 with 21 home runs and a 1.042 OPS. He has always been a high on base guy, which Billy Beane has always loved. The Athletics current catcher Sean Murphy is gonna start, unless something happens from now until Opening Day. Allen should be a decent back up especially if his ability to hit translates to the major league level and his defense remains at its current level . As stated earlier, he can make a great DH with his walks that he takes and his high OPS. The Athletics do walk away with a fairly decent player in Allen. Plus, this opens up an entertaining battle for Jorge Nateo and Franklin Barreto to claim starting second base for 2020.
The A’s also get a player to be named later in this deal and much like the Luis Urias/Trent Grisham trade, this can make the Athletics look really good, especially if they can pry a high upside player from a loaded Padres Farm system. Billy Beane is getting an early present from Preller for this as the Athletics get another great prospect to add to that incredible farm system.
The Padres are taking a big risk with this deal, as they shipped out a high upside 22-year old in Luis Urias, to open up second base for this 26 year old veteran. When signed in 2009, many scouts believed Jurickson Profar was the real deal and he would turn into one of the better young players in baseball. Plus, he was the number one prospect in all of baseball in 2012 and 2013. He didn’t live up to the hype until 2018, when he hit .254/.335/.458 with 20 home runs and a .793 OPS with premier defense, making him a young trade piece for the Rangers before being shipped to Oakland. He’s a switch-hitting middle infielder with incredible defense and a pretty streaky bat. We saw glimpses of this in 2019, as he took a major step back when he hit .218/.301/.410 with 20 home runs and a .711 OPS. The only positive is that he kept his power stroke from 2018. In a rather small sample size, Profar has hit well in Petco, hitting .500/.538/1.083 with 2 home runs and a 1.622 OPS. Like I said previously, this is a very small sample size but if he keeps trending this way the Padres could have themselves a gem in Profar.
If Profar gets back to his 2018 form, the Padres have a shot to have one of the best infields in baseball. Plus, the amount of catching depth the Padres have made Allen expendable. They have guys like Luis Campusano and Blake Hunt who are rising through the Padres system quickly, with Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia rounding out their catching depth. The Padres could also benefit from this if he does well and the team does not, as they could dangle him around the trade deadline and just sell him off for more top prospects in an already incredible system.
Another win-win trade: the Padres take a small risk in Profar but could be rewarded nicely with a great middle infield, and the Athletics save money and get a nice piece in return with Allen. He could potentially help the Athletics in 2020 but it depends on how his bat plays in Spring Training and Triple-A Las Vegas. To reiterate, the player to be named later can become a key piece of this trade in the future but it just depends on who it is and how the Athletics develop him.