Updated March 21, 2023:
The Colorado Rockies have officially announced the signing of Jurickson Profar. In a corresponding move on the 40-man roster, Lucas Gilbreath (Tommy John Surgery) has been moved to the 60-day injured list.
The Rockies announced today that they have agreed to terms with outfielder Jurickson Profar on a one-year contract that covers the 2023 season. He will wear #29.— Rockies Club Information (@RockiesClubInfo) March 21, 2023
To make room on the 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher Lucas Gilbreath has been placed on the 60-day IL.
The Colorado Rockies have agreed to terms with free agent outfielder Jurickson Profar on a one-year $7.75 million contract with incentives that could push the deal to $8.75 million according to Jon Heyman. Danielle Allentuck of The Gazette reports that the deal is still pending a physical and that Profar is not currently in the country and it may take a few days to sort everything out.
Jurickson Profar goes to Rockies. $8.75M total package ($7.75M guarantee). Makeable incentives: 400 plate appearances needed— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 19, 2023
The move comes as injuries continue to ravage the Rockies in spring training, the most recent victim being Sean Bouchard after he suffered a ruptured bicep that will keep him out for the majority of the 2023 season. The assumption is that he will play in left field and potentially be the lead off hitter to start the season with Kris Bryant moving to right field and Charlie Blackmon serving as the designated hitter. Allentuck also reports that it’s not guaranteed that Profar will be ready by Opening Day.
Originally signed out of Curaçao by the Texas Rangers in 2009, Profar made his debut with Texas in 2012 at the age of 19. Playing a limited role in parts of four seasons over the next seven years, Profar finally had a break-out season in 2018. In 146 games that season, he slashed .254/.335/.458 with 20 home runs and 77 RBI.
That offseason he was traded to the Oakland Athletics for the 2019 season where he struggled to a .218/.301/.410 slash line but once again managed 20 home runs and 67 RBI in 139 games. Following the season Profar was again traded, this time to the San Diego Padres.
Profar spent the next three seasons in San Diego batting .244/.333/.375 with 26 home runs and 116 RBI in 345 games. During the 2022 season, Profar ended up batting .243/.331./391 with 15 home runs, the most he has hit since the 2019 season. After signing a multi-year deal with the Padres prior to the 2021 season, going into the 2022-23 offseason, he had just one year remaining on his deal, valued at $7.5 million, and instead chose to opt out for a $1 million buyout.
Despite going unsigned most of spring training, Profar still saw game action playing for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, a team managed by the Rockies’ very own hitting coach Hensley Meulens. Playing four games in pool play, Profar batted .231/.412/.462 with a home run.
Profar, 30, muddies the water a bit more for a Rockies roster that features plenty of youth seeking an opportunity along with veterans. In the wake of Bouchard’s injury, non-roster invites like Harold Castro have continued a strong spring training while seeing plenty of time in left field. Roster hopefuls Nolan Jones and Michael Toglia have added left field to their defensive versatility, but both may need more time to work on things in Triple-A Albuquerque, along with Zac Veen who needs a bit more time in the minors before he joins the big league team at some point this season.
Profar now provides another switch-hitting bat with power potential for Bud Black to plug into his lineup, along with an ability to draw walks and limit strikeouts. In his nine-year career, Profar is batting .238/.322/.386 with 78 home runs, 313 RBI, 94 OPS+, and a 6.3 rWAR.