Hot Royals Should Double Down with Jumbled Outfield
Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
The Kansas City Royals won a “frickn’ trade this week. Dayton Moore took an area of surplus, relief pitching, and filled an area of need, lead off hitter. I really love it when The Royals make big boy baseball moves.
Getting Norichika Aoki for Will Smith was a solid, mature baseball move. I would have rather seen the Royals open up their wallets for a free agent, power hitting outfielder, but this is true progress. They have a deeper, better lineup today than last week. Just the fact they seeked out a high OBP guy (averaged 355 OBP the last two season) gives me optimism. Perhaps the saber metrics head has been half way dug out of the sand.
In Hunter Samuels last column, he nicely broke down the current Royals surplus, fourth outfielders.
He writes about David Lough, Jarrod Dyson, and Justin Maxwell. The only fourth outfielder Hunter didn’t mention? That would be Lorenzo Cain. Most people, including the Royals, see Cain as a starter. I don’t. His range is fantastic in the field, but his offense is below average, and he can’t make it through a full season without injuries. That’s not bad new folks. Because when you see Cain on this light, it creates more options.
All of these guys are slightly below average starters, but A plus for any bench.
Instead of just designating Lough for assignment, I have to assume the Royals are considering more creative options. What could a Lorenzo Cain and Luke Hochevar package get? What if all of four of them stayed, and Billy Butler was traded for a second sacker? I heard some Cano guy landed in the Pac-West, and there may be some spare infielders there. You guys know anything about that?
Arguments on trade specifics shelved, I think we can agree that it’s nice to see “progressive progress”. Seeing the Royals appropriately distributing and moving their player’s values feels great. Seeing the Royals value on base percentage makes me almost giddy.
No way Dayton is done dealing. Here are his cards. They need a second baseman that can hit. They have four solid fourth outfielders, and still have a stable of bullpen arms, including a very expensive set up guy. Don’t pass Dayton, don’t stand pat. Keep dealing Dayton, you are actually on a hot streak.