Martin, Profar Should Get Chances With Rangers
ARLINGTON—The week that followed the Winter Meetings would hardly be
deemed a success for the Rangers, who saw their key offseason targets
either head elsewhere in free agency or become unavailable on the trade
Among those targets was Josh Hamilton
, who signed with the
division-rival Angels. Michael Young
won't be back either after the
Rangers orchestrated a trade that sent the seven-time all-star infielder
to the Phillies.
While the week wasn't great for the Rangers, it was pretty good for prospects Jurickson Profar
and Leonys Martin
Each figures to have a significant 2013 role thanks to the Hamilton and
Young moves, as the Rangers look to get younger on the field and more
level-headed with their budget.
"At the beginning of the offseason, we said this team was probably going
to take on a different look in the sense that we have a good core and
we wanted to mix in some young players," general manager Jon Daniels
said. "We're excited about these guys. We think they've earned the
Plenty of offseason remains for the Rangers to find veteran pieces, but
the wheels are in motion for Profar and Martin. Mike Olt
, who has
morphed into a corner infielder and right fielder, could figure into the
mix, too, though he can't be guaranteed the same amount of at-bats as
Profar and Martin.
The Rangers have spoken to all-star second baseman Ian Kinsler
move to first base, a position swap that would open an everyday spot for
the 19-year-old Profar. A shortstop by trade, Profar has only a handful
of games at second, but the Rangers believe he will easily pick up the
position while his bat upgrades the offense.
Martin, a 24-year-old Cuban, will likely open the season in a
center-field platoon with Craig Gentry
, but the Rangers want to see him
seize the job full-time. His bat was just fine at Triple-A Round Rock in
2012, as he hit at a .359/.422/.610 clip, and his baserunning and
outfield routes have improved since the Rangers acquired him in May
• The Young trade returned a pair of righthanded relievers. Josh
Lindblom will likely make the big league roster, and Lisalverto Bonilla
will join a nice crop of arms in the minors. Bonilla's best pitch is his
changeup, but the Rangers want to see him work on his fastball command
to make the changeup more effective.
• Among the four players the Rangers signed to minor league deals with
invitations to spring training was 2010 big league all-star Evan Meek
The righty spent most of 2012 at Triple-A Indianapolis, with just 12
innings in Pittsburgh.