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Profar confident in ability entering camp

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar has never lacked for confidence, and nothing that has happened over the past four years is going to change that.

"I'm confident I am going to be good," Profar said. "I can put everything together and be the player I want to be."

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar has never lacked for confidence, and nothing that has happened over the past four years is going to change that.

"I'm confident I am going to be good," Profar said. "I can put everything together and be the player I want to be."

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Profar, who arrived in the Rangers' clubhouse on Friday, also warded off any questions about a desire to be traded because he is blocked from being an everyday player at the big league level by Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor.

"I can't say that," Profar said. "I know this team loves me, and I love the team. I am here to help them win."

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Profar is here because the Rangers need a utility infielder. It's also likely his trade value has diminished after two years of injuries in 2014-15, a year as a utility player in 2016 and a demotion to Triple-A Round Rock last year.

There were rumblings that he would get traded at the July 31 Deadline last year, but that didn't happen. Profar said he hasn't decided whether that was a good or bad thing.

"Yes and no," Profar said. "They are going to do whatever they think is best for them … not trading me was best for them. I am good with that."

Profar admitted he was miffed when he didn't get called up in September, but was mollified after a conversation with general manager Jon Daniels.

"That cooled me down a lot," Profar said.

The explanation was that the Rangers wanted to make a final run at the postseason with the players that had been there all summer. But it left him with three years and 165 days of service time. Not getting the extra month in the big leagues keeps him from being a free agent until after the 2020 season.

"I look at it this way," Profar said. "It is better for me to go out and put up the numbers I'm capable of and have more years [before free agency] to do it."

Profar was the Rangers' left fielder on Opening Day last season, but a slow start led to him being optioned to Round Rock at the end of April. He played in just seven games over two token callups with the Rangers the rest of the season.

He won't have to worry about being the Opening Day left fielder this season or being optioned to Round Rock. Profar is out of options, meaning he would have to be exposed to outright waivers before being sent down.

Profar is also not going to play the outfield this spring. Manager Jeff Banister wants him to be comfortable, so Profar's playing time will be limited to third, shortstop and second base.

"I want him to feel the freedom of just going out and playing," Banister said.

Profar considers himself a natural infielder. Well, actually, he sees himself as an everyday shortstop in the big leagues.

"I am well aware of his desire to play shortstop," Banister said.

There is always the possibility of an ulterior motive. The Rangers could be showcasing Profar in an attempt to drum up trade interest this spring. They have other utility infielder candidates. Veteran infielders Darwin Barney and Trevor Plouffe were both signed in the final days leading up to Spring Training.

"I'm not worried about anything," Profar said. "I'm going to get a chance to play and be in the lineup and prove to people I can help a team win. That's on me."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Jurickson Profar