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 market.

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 opportunity."

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 about a 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 2011.

Rangers Roundup

• 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.