The KC Royals will likely need a designated hitter in 2017 when Kendrys Morales contract expires. Could former Kansas City Royals rookie-of-the-year Carlos Beltran return to where his career began?
KC Royals general manager Dayton Moore scored a coup when he signed Kendrys Morales to a two-year, $17 million deal before the 2015 season with a $1.5 million option buyout in 2017. Morales is unlikely to accept the $11 million in his 2017 mutual option since he continues to be far more productive at open market prices.
Thus, Fox Sports venerable baseball analyst Ken Rosenthal rocks his trademark bowtie as he suggests that 39-year-old New York Yankee outfielder Carlos Beltran might be a good fit. Beltran still swings a solid stick, currently hitting .277/.294/.508 in 17 games with the Yankees this season. He’ll be available on the free-agent market, and he’s very similar to another veteran bat that Dayton Moore liked last winter in Torii Hunter.
Also, the Kansas City Royals made a strong offer to bring Carlos Beltran back to KC before the 2014 season. However, Beltran chose to sign with New York, citing his desire to compete for a championship.
More from Kings of Kauffman
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Expectations met
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Day 3 update
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Day 2 update
- Winter Meetings: Any blockbusters for the KC Royals?
- Grading the 2022 KC Royals: The versatile Nate Eaton
LOL. How’d that work out for ya, Carlos?
On the surface, this kind of 2+2 makes some sense. But, I doubt it ever happens.
Next winter, Dayton Moore will be angling to extend some of the players slated to hit the open market before the 2018 season, and will prefer to spend his money retaining Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Wade Davis rather than invest in 40-year-old designated hitters.
Throw in that Kendrys Morales will likely want to return after winning a World Series in Kansas City and is seven years younger than Beltran, and you have an unlikely scenario.
Even if the KC Royals allow Morales to leave in free-agency, they still have a number of position player prospects that need a big league opportunity. Balbino Fuenmayor continues to hit well in AAA, and needs a chance to show what he can do with the big club. Also, prospects like Cheslor Cuthbert and Hunter Dozier look ready for a job in Kansas City. It makes a lot more sense to trust that one of the Kansas City Royals hitting prospects can seize the designated hitter job while making rookie minimum rather than compromise dollars that can help retain a core piece of a championship club.
The only way I can see Beltran returning to the KC Royals is if Jarrod Dyson shows he can’t hold down the right field job and the Yankees fall out of contention before the July trade deadline. Even then, I believe Beltran’s defense will make Dayton Moore look elsewhere in case his lineup needs an offensive boost.
The KC Royals are longer in the tooth than most people think. The Royals are the sixth oldest team in MLB at an average age of 29.4 years. If anything, they will need to get younger rather than get older next off-season.