Throughout much of December it appeared as though it was only a matter of time until the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins aligned on a Brian Dozier trade. However, the two sides remained at odds over a trade package, and talks were said to have reached an impasse.
In addition to Dozier, Los Angeles has been connected to Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler and Tampa Bay Rays utility man Logan Forsythe. Of the Kinsler and Forsythe, the Dodgers acquiring the latter would appear to be the more realistic scenario.
The 34-year-old Kinsler can block a trade to the Dodgers, and said he would only waive the limited no-trade clause in exchange for a contract extension. That’s hardly a decision that fits with the Dodgers’ vision under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
With talks for Dozier seemingly cooling, Los Angeles nonetheless was expected to circle back around to Forsythe and Kinsler, as well as explore other options.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, that equates to discussing a potential trade with the Texas Rangers for Jurickson Profar:
Most of the Dodgers’ preferences are not known, but they’ve spoken with the Rangers about infielder Jurickson Profar, sources said. Two other switch-hitting second basemen — the Phillies’ Cesar Hernandez and Nationals’ Wilmer Difo — also are potential fits.
Over parts of three seasons with the Rangers — 2012, 2013 and 2016 — Profar has played first base, second base, third base, shortstop and left field. He missed the entire 2014 season due to a shoulder injury, then all of 2015 after undergoing surgery to repair the labrum in his right shoulder.
In a career-high 90 games last season, the switch-hitting utility man batted .239/.321/.338 with six doubles, three triples, five home runs, 20 RBI and a 75 OPS+. Profar made 25 starts at third base in 2016, 19 at second base, 17 at first base, 14 in left field and 11 at shortstop.
The bulk of his time in the Majors has come at second base (56 games; 46 starts). Profar is owed $1.05 million this season, then will be eligible for salary arbitration beginning in 2018.
Whether the Philadelphia Phillies would be inclined to trade Cesar Hernandez isn’t clear. The same applies to the Washington Nationals and Wilmer Difo. There was a general expectation Philadelphia would pursue potential trades for Hernandez after the club acquired Howie Kendrick from the Dodgers.
Difo, Hernandez and Profar are all of the utility-man mold and each of the three is 26 years old or younger.