The Kansas City Royals are thought to be in the market for a power hitter, given the lack of anything resembling a home run threat in the lineup. Right field has generally been considered the area that they would upgrade at, given the overall struggles of Nori Aoki this season. Even though the Aoki/Jarrod Dyson platoon has worked well when Aoki was healthy, right field is still that area that seems to be seems to be the “problem area” in virtually every Royals trade piece.
Naturally, given that belief, any possible power hitting right fielder that could be available could be considered a potential target for the Royals. One of the names that keeps getting brought up as a possibility for the Royals is Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd, who is in the first year of a two year, $16 Million contract.Byrd would certainly fill that role, as his .261/.313/.481 slash line and 18 home runs would appear to be exactly what the Royals would need.
However, given Byrd’s salary, and a vesting option for 2016 worth another $8 Million if he gets either 600 plate appearances in 2015 or a total of 1100 plate appearances during the first two years of the deal, it would seem difficult to imagine the Royals being willing to spend that much on a player in his late 30′s. Even if the Royals were willing to make that type of expenditure, it might be a moot point anyway, as it was revealed that Byrd has a limited no-trade clause of four teams. The Royals just so happen to be one of those four.
According to Marlon Byrd, the Royals and the Seattle Mariners, two of the four teams on the list, were added at the time since they were offered. if the Phillies were to approach Byrd about being moved to either the Royals or the Mariners, he stated that he would consider the move if it helped the team out long term. And Byrd may be interested in helping a team in a playoff chase, since he only appeared in the postseason for the first time last year.
Byrd also said that he signed the two year contract in Philadelphia because he wants to retire as a member of the Phillies. Even if Byrd would agree to be traded to the Royals, would his heart really be in such a move? While a chance at the postseason could be a major lure, would Byrd become discontented should the Royals fade from postseason contention? Is it really worth the prospect(s) and cost to find out? Byrd did put the Royals on his no-trade list for some reason, despite what he says.
In theory, Marlon Byrd to the Royals makes sense. In reality, such a move does not seem to be in the Royals best interests.