September 16, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) drives the ball to right field against the Los Angeles Angels during the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

Which Royal to Trade? Poll Results

Stop me if you’ve heard this one – the Royals might need to make a trade to get a top-notch starter this offseason.

This isn’t anything new. We’ve talked about the possibilities all month. While the Royals work to get the rotation fixed, we just wait and speculate.

For a while now, we’ve had a poll up on Kings of Kauffman where readers have stopped by to offer their input. In a wisdom of crowds way, we can look at this sample and see just who the readers of this blog are most willing to deal.

August 21, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) on deck to bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

At the top of that list is Eric Hosmer who took 36% of the vote. This can’t be too surprising. Despite a disappointing 2012, Hosmer isn’t far removed from a season where he finished third in Rookie of the Year voting. Many still believe he’ll develop into the constant masher scouts thought he’d be. Because of that, he still has a lot of value on the trade market for teams who see him as a perennial star in the middle of the lineup. He’s young, has vast potential and is still easy on the payroll. He’s probably part of the deal that brings back the most in return.

Mike Moustakas was next behind Hosmer. My interpretation is that he’s this high because many see him as the more expendable of the two, but still with good potential. That could just be my own bias, since that’s how I see Moustakas. He’d likely bring back a bit less than Hosmer.

Alex Gordon is next, which feels like a group of voters who are willing to sell-high on him after two strong offensive seasons during which he also took home a Gold Glove in left field. Gordon’s contract might both help and hurt his potential trade value. Without it, he’s just a one year player in 2013. With it, he’s under contract through at least 2015 and probably 2016, assuming he picks up the player option. That control makes him more valuable – but the size of the contract could turn teams off from such a commitment.

Wil Myers is right after him and I get the feeling that he fell far down the list because many would rather see him in Kansas City before he gets traded off. There’s plenty of buzz about his value, though, and there’s a reasonable chance he gets moved.

The player who came in lowest on the vote, though, was Salvador Perez, who only 1% of voters said they’d trade. That underscores the value he has to this team, as well as the excellent deal he’s been signed to. A catcher who can throw out 42% of baserunners attempting to steal (as Sal did in 2o12) AND put up a .798 OPS in half a season with 11 homers has a lot of value. Many think he’s going to get much better, including the Royals, who have him under contract for the rest of the decade for a total value of $21 million. There are still questions about his ability to hold up over the course of a full season, and his knee surgery last year don’t quiet those whispers any. He probably has as much trade value as Hosmer based on the length and value of the deal. Jonah Keri named Perez the 42nd best trade chip in baseball in an article earlier today, largely based on that contract and his potential (though he needed a little encouragement to make that ranking).

There is a slight hitch to these results though. For whatever reason, and I don’t have an explanation or why this happened, I left Billy Butler out of the voting options. Part of that may be due to my own belief that Butler’s market is pretty thin. I’ve never thought a National League team would trade for him, so that cuts your options down to 14 teams. Also, not every team is in need of a DH and not every team is willing to trade or one. Seattle, Tampa Bay and Houston may be the best destinations for Butler, and while Tampa could be a good partner, Seattle doesn’t have the immediate help necessary, and Houston’s options aren’t a fit either.

These results are for entertainment purposes only – so have a grain of salt handy.

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