The Five Worst Trades in Kansas City Royals History
By David Hill
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
5. Cecil Fielder for Leon Roberts (February 5, 1983)
We all know how Steve Balboni is still the Royals single season home run hitter with 36 homers, set in 1985. Likewise, we all know that the Royals are the only active franchise in baseball history that has not had a 40 home run hitter. Well, that could have changed if they had held on to a hefty first base prospect named Cecil Fielder.
Instead, they parted with the 18 year old power prospect, sending him to the Toronto Blue Jays for Leon Roberts. Roberts spent the 1983 season as essentially a fourth outfielder, seeing majority of his time in either left or right field. He then appeared in another 29 games in 1984, his final season in the majors.
During his tenure with the Royals, Leon Roberts produced a .252/.311/.384 batting line with eight home runs. He also pitched an inning in 1984, where he gave up three runs on four hits and a walk in his inning of work. At least he can say that he struck out the first batter he faced in Mel Hall. Fielder, meanwhile, showed glimpses of his power potential for the Blue Jays, but turned into a feared slugger with the Detroit Tigers.
Those 51 home runs that Fielder hit in 1990 would have looked pretty nice in a Royals uniform. Perhaps Fielder would not have been that same type of player in Kansas City, but he would have certainly been an interesting addition to the lineup.