4) Lorenzo Cain
Lorenzo Cain is one of the key KC Royals players and a massive contributor to the KC Royals success beginning in 2013. In 2013, Cain was worth 2.7 WAR. In 2014 Cain’s WAR increased to 4.9 and last year it hit 6.6!
As of right now, Cain is on pace to replicate his 2014 level of production which is still very good and valuable to not only the KC Royals, but just about any team in contention. Especially since Cain wouldn’t be a rental as he is signed through the end of the 2017 season.
Since Cain isn’t a rental, it would make some sense that the KC Royals keep him even if 2016 goes south since he would be certainly on the team in 2017. But there is one big reason why the KC Royals would/could consider moving Cain.
The reason is age. Cain is 30 yrs old this year and by the time he his un-restricted free agency, he will be entering his 32 year old season. That is about the same time that most aging curves begin to predict a decline. Also, Cain’s value is predicated in large part to speed in the outfield and on the bases, which is the 1st thing to go as a player ages.
Sure, Cain may be the next Tori Hunter who was a valuable player all the way up to 40 yrs old. But the odds are against it. Cain has also battled some injuries in his career, injuries that will surly pop back up as his age advances. After all, there is a reason KC opted not to give him a long term deal even though Cain was requesting one.
The other thing is, it is unlikely that the Royals will be able to sign the entire core at the conclusion of the 2017 season when they all hit free agency. Moving Cain in 2016, if the Royals are out of it, would not only bring in a sizable haul of prospects, but it would free up some cash to sign the much younger players such as Hosmer and Moustakas.
Look, I know Cain is a fan favorite and one heck of a CF, but real soon we are going to have to face the fact that some of the team we love right now is going to have to move on.
Next: Trade Bait No. 5