Surprisingly, it took this long for outfielder Jurickson Profar to come off the free agent market. The former Padre will stay in the NL West for 2023, as Profar reportedly signed with the Rockies on a one-year deal. While Profar didn’t receive a multi-year deal in the offseason, the switch-hitter does land in a favorable hitting environment.
A Look at Profar
Switch-hitting outfielder Jurickson Profar sat on the market all the way up to March 19, but he now finds a home in Colorado. Profar’s new deal comes off the heels off of four games with Team Netherlands in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. The outfielder hit .231/.412/.462 with one home run and five runs batted in over four games with the Netherlands.
Profar had a relatively strong campaign with the Padres last season. Profar hit .243/.331/.391 with 15 home runs and 53 extra base hits with San Diego. That season marked the third time over the past four full seasons (not counting 2020) in which Profar hit at least 15 home runs in a season. His career-high is 20, which came twice in both 2018 and 2019.
The 30-year-old’s new deal comes months after he opted out of his deal with San Diego last November to hit the open market. However, he didn’t receive a multi-year contract this past offseason.
Profar is set to earn $7.75 million this season per the New York Post. Should he hit 400 plate appearances in 2023, the 30-year-old could make up to $8.75 million. The Rockies have been rather busy in recent weeks, thanks to injuries to Lucas Gilbreath and Brendan Rodgers. Colorado inked left-handed infielder Brad Hand and infielder Mike Moustakas in recent weeks, and now Profar will join them in the Rocky Mountains.
What it Means
The addition of Profar gives the Rockies a good bat that should slot in nicely into the top of the Colorado lineup. Profar does a good job of working outs and accruing walks, and can hit for both contact and power.
The Rockies, despite a lineup with good pop, finished tied with Cleveland for 15th place in runs scored (698) last year. That could be somewhat attributed to the fact that Colorado sat in the middle of the pack in on-base percentage. Profar’s .331 OBP, for what it’s worth, would have ranked as the third-best on-base percentage on the Rockies last year, behind Connor Joe (.338) and Yonathan Daza (.349). Joe, though, is no longer with Colorado, as the Rockies moved him this past winter to the Pirates.
With Randal Grichuk out for the start of the 2023 campaign due to sports hernia surgery, Profar should slot into left at Coors Field with Daza in center and Kris Bryant in right field. Charlie Blackmon, meanwhile, figures to be the Rockies regular designated hitter in 2023. Once Grichuk comes back, the Rockies can get a little creative with its lineup. And, the nature of this deal could make Profar an option for playoff-bound teams in the summer should the Rockies not be in contention.