KC Royals: 6 Trade Targets After Losing Moustakas, Gordon

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Jun 7, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) is congratulated by third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) after Gordon scores in the second inning against the New York Yankees at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) is congratulated by third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) after Gordon scores in the second inning against the New York Yankees at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 30, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Melvin Upton Jr. (2) runs after he hits a two-run RBI double during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Melvin Upton Jr. (2) runs after he hits a two-run RBI double during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports /

6) San Diego Padres OF Melvin Upton, Jr.

After two lost seasons in 2013 and 2014, Upton bounced back to post a tolerable .259/.327/.429 slash line in 2015 for the Padres when they took him as part of a salary dump to get reliever Craig Kimbrel.

Elevated to a starting outfield job in 2016, Upton has been a pleasant surprise hitting a solid .253/.324/.416 with 6 home runs, 13 extra base hits, 18 RBI’s and 9 steals in 12 attempts.

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Upton is still 31-years-old and remains one of the most athletic players in the game. He plays plus defense as a corner outfielder, and can hold down the fort in center. Overall, he looks like a good fit for the Kansas City Royals, except for his 26.4% strikeout rate.

Even though Upton is hardly a keep-the-line moving kind of player, he does have the athleticism that he Royals covet.

As for his contract, Upton is signed for $15.4 million in 2016 and $16 million in 2017. That’s not unreasonable when teams are paying around $8 million per expected WAR (Wins Above Replacement) on the open market.

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In the end, the KC Royals are unlikely to make a move as long as they believe utility man Whit Merrifield, outfielder Paulo Orlando, outfielder Brett Eibner, and rehabbing starting pitcher Mike Minor can get the job done. But, these are the six best trade market alternatives if they falter.

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