KC Royals reserve outfielder Jarrod Dyson is eligible to hit free-agency after the 2017 season. Should GM Dayton Moore deal the speedy bench player after adding the similarly-skilled Billy Burns?
Dyson turns 32-years-old in 2017 and will hit free agency that winter. While unquestionably valuable as a bench player, Dyson has enjoyed multiple opportunities since Alex Gordon‘s 2014 hamstring injury to take a full-time role. Every time, he’s shown that his bat gets exposed in a full-time role.
Add in the fact that the Kansas City Royals traded for 26-year-old Billy Burns who possesses a similar speed/defense combo to Dyson, and it seems that next winter would be the perfect time to flip the veteran bench player for whatever prospects Dayton Moore can get on the open market.
There’s really only two reasons why you wouldn’t make such a deal. First, if Billy Burns shows the KC Royals that this season’s crash at the plate is an anomaly and that he has the hit tool to hold a regular job, then Dyson would still be a valuable bench player. Second, maybe Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost likes the idea of having TWO base-running rabbit/defensive weapon guys to deploy in the late innings.
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The Billy Burns issue is something that the KC Royals scouting staff will have to evaluate this winter. In my view, the biggest difference between the two is that Billy Burns doesn’t have Dyson’s ability to provide outfield assists. The second is mollified by the number of speed guys available in the Kansas City Royals system for such a role in the playoffs. The KC Royals organization still has Terrance Gore and Whit Merrifield who could provide similar help from the bench.
A Jarrod Dyson trade, by itself, would bring a huge return. But, such a deal wouldn’t be nothing. Dyson has produced a total of 9.7 bWAR (Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement) in seven seasons with the Kansas City Royals. He produced a 2.8 bWAR season in 2015 and has compiled 2.2 bWAR in 2016.
That’s a pretty potent weapon for a bench player.
The fact is, Jarrod Dyson’s elite base-running, range, and above-average arm can turn a game when he’s deployed in the late-innings. His limited hit tool and power make him a less than desirable starter, but he’s a difference-maker in the right spot.
Dyson isn’t really that valuable to a rebuilding team, but is gold for a franchise that expects to make the post-season. Perhaps you can tease loose a C+ prospect for him on the trade market.
That’s not a huge return, but should still be pursued by a team that compromised it’s organizational depth by trading five pitching prospects to load up for their 2015 World Series run.
So, KC Royals fans, keep an eye on Billy Burns in his audition with the big club in the season’s final two months. If he looks a lot like Jarrod Dyson, expect Dayton Moore to make a deal.