The title is self explanatory. Would you trade Robinson Cano for Jurickson Profar straight up? This was actually a possibility at one point, whether the Yankees actually considered this trade is the mystery.
Let's rewind to a few months ago, around the trade deadline. Robinson Cano is in his final year of his contract. He's expecting to get big money and a long term extension, something along the lines of $175 million for 7-10 years. At the age of 30, there are some questions about how well he will age. There's no reason to anticipate any immediate dramatic regression, but these things are unpredictable. At the moment, he's playing great baseball, however, the Yankees' chance of making the post-season is questionable. Perhaps trading Cano as a rental to another team makes sense.
Meanwhile, the Rangers are looking for another great bat to add to their lineup as they reach for a playoff spot. If they were to obtain Cano, they could move Kinsler to the outfield or first base. (Note: I'm not sure why this wasn't done to make room for Profar on the field. Yet, at this point in time Cano's hitting abilities blow Profar's out of the water. So, the deal still makes some sense.)
Rewind over. Back to hypothetical talk.
So, going back to what I said earlier, Cano will probably have five years left of above average to MVP level production. The question is, what kind of production will the man the Yankees are trading for give the team?
Jurickson Profar didn't produce the rookie season expected of a number one overall prospect. He provided the Rangers a -.4 WAR for 2013. His offensive numbers were below average, earning a .291 wOBA and a wRC+ of only 75. But Profar is just 20 years old, and a player with Profar's talents should breakout within the next few seasons. Once he figures out major league pitching and finds a home at a single position, Profar has ridiculous upside.
His defense is one of his major assets. When Texas had him at designated hitter, they diminished his value substantially. He has a cannon of an arm that is best used at shortstop. He has the ability to get rid of the ball quickly with accuracy. His arm strength is also a plus, so he has the arm to throw runners out on balls hit in the hole. He shows range to both sides and possesses soft hands. You can read a full scouting report on Jurickson Profar here from Baseball Prospect Nation.
Profar has the ability to become a franchise player for the next 10-15 years. He looks to have the body type to last. For now, Profar is cheap and controllable, he's not eligible for arbitration until 2015 and cannot hit free agency until 2018. That's four solid years until he's due to get paid, and the ability to extend him before the 2018 season.
For me, it's an easy decision. This deal should have been made. There's a risk here that Profar doesn't reach his potential, however, I believe that's a small risk. He's everything you want in a prospect from being an intellectual player to his low strikeout totals. Plus, wouldn't you want to see this 15-25 times a year?