This 3B prospect might be on the trading block if the Brewers can acquire some starting pitching for his services. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel wrote about the possibility here. On the surface it may not seem like a fit for the Royals, but it is something that Dayton Moore should pursue.
Last year Mat Gamel made his ML debut for the Brewers after tearing up the minors and hit a double in two at bats. This year he saw more playing time in Milwaukee accumulating 148 plate appearances in 61 games. He hit 0.242/.338/.422 with 18 BB, 54 SO and an OPS+ of exactly 100. In 2,248 PA in the minors he has hit 0.302/.374/.488 and was ranked as the Brewers 2nd best prospect by Baseball America heading into the season.
Clearly by writing all of the above, you have probably figured out that I believe the Royals should trade for Mat Gamel. To acquire him, I think the Royals can go a couple ways. The ideal scenario would be to acquire Gamel in exchange for Brian Bannister and a low level pitching prospect. That would be my opening offer, but it likely wouldn’t be enough. If the Brewers are really willing to take on some salary in a deal, then moving Gil Meche might make sense.
Meche is set to make $12 million in both 2010 and 2011. Dealing him now would give the Royals significant payroll flexibility to utilize this offseason and while some may consider Gil to be damaged goods, he could bring the Royals a top ML ready prospect in return. The reality is that Meche’s value is stronger this offseason than it will be at any point going forward. Gil’s value is further heightened by the weak free agent class of starting pitchers, and of course the Royals don’t figure to be legitimately competitive in 2010 and 2011.
Of course the Royals already have a former top prospect entrenched at 3B by the name of Alex Gordon. Trading for Gamel would not necessarily spell the end of Gordon’s time with the Royals, but it would give them another chip to use in an attempt to improve the team elsewhere. Gamel is less than stellar defensively and a position switch at the ML level seems likely. OF and 1B are the two possible positions that he could switch to and with Billy Butler and, hopefully, Kila Ka’aihue as the 2010 1B for the Royals, it would be likely OF or bust for Gamel. That might not necessarily be a bad thing.
You can never have too much young offensive talent, and Gamel definitely fits the bill. Additionally, moving Gil Meche frees up $12 million for Dayton Moore to address some of the voids on the roster. $12 million may not be a lot to work with, but coupled with Jose Guillen coming off the books after 2010 and the $12 million that would have been going to Meche for 2011, it would put the team in much better position to manuever financially heading into the 2011 season. Some of the top wave of talent should be pushing for ML roster spots heading into the 2011 season which will help clarify the areas where the money needs to be spent.
As you can tell from the title of the post, this is just the first of my offseason proposals to improve the Kansas City Royals for 2010, and more importantly, beyond.