The KC Royals have suffered numerous injuries to position players and still rank at the bottom of the American League in runs scored. Should the Kansas City Royals consider signing former four-time All-Star Jose Reyes?
The Colorado Rockies DFA’d Jose Reyes on Wednesday, the same day the KC Royals shed Omar Infante. However, the Rockies decided to eat close to $40 million—which is a heck of a lot more green than the $14.7 million Kansas City wrote off by releasing Infante.
Reyes was once one of the best shortstops in the game. He boasted a good stick, home run power in the teens, and exceptional speed on the basepaths all at a premium defensive position. However, the 33-year-old Reyes skills have faded. He hasn’t been a defensive asset at short since 2010, and has lost his power.
Then police arrested Reyes for domestic abuse in Hawaii, which caused MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to level a 51-day suspension on the Rockies shortstop to begin the 2016 season.
Even though Reyes wife refused to cooperate with investigators, Reyes off-field blow-up made him persona non grata in Colorado. The Rockies activated him on Wednesday and immediately designated him for assignment, knowing that no team will pick up the $40 million remaining on his contract by claiming Reyes on waivers.
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That leads us to the question: should the Kansas City Royals consider giving Reyes a chance?
I say no.
Yes, Reyes has a big name. But he hasn’t lived up to his reputation in years. Though he might still be a useful bat, you don’t want to play him at short anymore. Of course, the KC Royals would probably want him as a third base fill-in for the injured Mike Moustakas, who will miss the balance of the 2016 season due to a torn ACL.
Reyes is still a contact hitter with speed. He was slashing .285/.322/.385 for Toronto before the Blue Jays shipped him to Colorado in the Troy Tulowitzki deal close to the trading deadline. Though Reyes struggled to re-adjust to the National League, he did steal a total of 24 bases last season and struck out a mere 62 times in 519 plate appearances.
Yet, how much better is he than rookie Cheslor Cuthbert, who is currently slashing .273/.307/.405 for the Kansas City Royals? The 23-year-old Cuthbert is probably a better fielder at third base than Reyes at this point in their careers, and his bat seems about the same. Cuthbert, however, strikes out more than Reyes and doesn’t posses the former New York Mets stars’ speed—but Cuthbert seems to have more pop.
That’s not even considering the whole domestic abuse charge. I can’t imagine that too many KC Royals wives and girlfriends would be happy to have Reyes hanging around the team, which is particularly toxic for a club like Kansas City that thrives—in large part—due to its tight clubhouse culture.
I suppose the KC Royals might justify signing Jose Reyes to a minor-league deal in case Cuthbert turns into a pumpkin at some point in the season, but I just don’t see the upside. The Kansas City Royals just don’t need the baggage Reyes would bring with him when you consider his diminished skills.