Kansas City Royals Should Trade For Scott Van Slyke


The Kansas City Royals hope to bring back Alex Gordon at a favorable price. Recent reports suggest they have made a low-ball offer in hopes that Gordon’s market collapses. If negotiations fail, and Alex Gordon leaves; the KC Royals should consider a deal for Dodgers outfielder Scott Van Slyke.

The soon to be 30-year-old Van Slyke is once again caught behind a logjam of outfielders in Los Angeles, which has just gotten worse when the Dodgers added young outfielder Trayce Thompson from the White Sox as part of their haul in Wednesday’s three-team mega-deal that also involved Cincinnati third baseman Todd Frazier moving to Chicago.

Scott Van Slyke has compiled a solid .253/.337/.442 slash line in parts of four seasons in Los Angeles with 26 home runs and 85 RBI’s in 708 plate appearances. Along with his well above average Adjusted On Base Plus Slugging (OPS+) of 118 (18% above league average), Van Slyke has compiled an outstanding Ultimate Zone Rating of 15.7 as an outfielder.

In 1,202.2 innings as an outfielder (approximately 134 full games), Van Slyke has added 11 outfield assists along with showing good range. Over his four seasons, in which Van Slyke had about as many plate appearances as Alex Gordon had in single years in 2012 and 2013, he’s produced an excellent 4.4 Wins Above Replacement (bWAR).

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It’s time that Van Slyke get a shot at a starting gig. If nothing else, he has the right beard to fit in the Kansas City Royals clubhouse.

The beauty of the situation is that the right-handed hitting Van Slyke has four more seasons of arbitration remaining, so he would be a relatively cheap outfield solution. He also should have limited trade value in that he sports a strong platoon split over his career. Against righties he slashes an acceptable .242/.306/.402 with 10 home runs, while he’s smashed lefties to the tune of .265/.370/.488 with 16 home runs.

Along with the platoon split, Scott Van Slyke has been a bench player his entire career. Thus, the KC Royals could insist that he’s a limited player that might get exposed with regular playing time. These risks along with the Dodgers crowded outfield could bring his trade value down to C+ level prospects that the Kansas City Royals won’t really miss.

I have long had my eye on Van Slyke as a low-cost outfield solution for the KC Royals, including a piece I wrote for KC Kingdom last November. I would have ranked Van Slyke as my number 3 potential replacement for Alex Gordon in the list I evaluated last week.

Next: Candidates To Replace Alex Gordon

Scott Van Slyke is the perfect veteran stop-gap to plug in until Bubba Starling, Jorge Bonifacio, Brett Eibner, or Jose Martinez establish themselves as outfield regulars with the Kansas City Royals.