KC Royals: Let’s Make a Deal
The Reds are reportedly listening to offers for CF Billy Hamilton, which got us thinking …
ESPN’s Buster Olney reported Tuesday that Cincinnati is willing to entertain deals on all of their players, including center fielder Billy Hamilton.
Which intrigued us here at Kings of Kauffman.
Hamilton finally started to show signs of a breakthrough last season, posting career highs in average (.260), on-base percentage (.321) and OPS (.664).
Of course he’s always possessed elite speed, having stolen more than 55 bases in each of the past three seasons. And he’s become one of the National League’s best defensive center fielder, ranking seventh in Defensive Runs Saved last year despite playing just 115 games. Oh, and he just turned 26.
You see where we’re going with this.
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The Royals resurgence has been keyed in part by athletic ballplayers that play great defense and are aggressive on the base paths.
So what could Kansas City offer to get Hamilton, who’s under team control for three more years?
And what other hypothetical trades are out there for Royals-type players?
Hamilton to Kansas City for RHP Kyle Zimmer
The Reds aren’t going to be good again for several years, so they can afford to be patient with a high-ceiling prospect like Zimmer, who may have the best stuff in Kansas City’s entire farm system.
The problem has been his health. Zimmer, a first-round pick in 2012, threw just 5.2 innings last season and only 64 in 2015. The only time he’s recorded more than 100 innings as a professional was in 2013, when he struckout 140 in 108.1 frames.
With Hamilton on the Royals’ roster, Lorenzo Cain could move to right field with regular turns at DH.
Milwaukee utility man Hernan Perez to Kansas City for LHP Eric Skoglund and OF Billy Burns
Perez did it all for the Brewers last year, hitting .272 with 34 steals and 13 home runs in 123 games. The 25-year-old right-handed hitter also showed off his inner Zobrist, playing 60 games at third base, 46 in the outfield and even 11 at second base.
With the Brewers likely still several years away from contending in the NL Central again, Skoglund could be ready for the bigs just as Milwaukee’s other prospects are coming of age. A classic crafty lefty, the 6-foot-7 Skoglund posted a 3.45 ERA in 156.1 innings for Double-A Northwest Arkansas last season, fanning 134 while walking just 38.
Burns, who is just 27, would get a shot at a full-time job for a team that is waiting for its studs to mature.
Houston CF Jake Marisnick to Kansas City for RHP Alec Mills
Marisnick, 25, is looking like a man without a position in Houston after the Astros signed Josh Reddick. Good speed, good glove but suspect bat, Marisnick is a former third-round pick who could still develop at the plate. He hit just .209 last year in Houston and .236 in 2015, but has the kind of defensive instincts that should keep him in the bigs for years to come.
Next: Royals in line for landing a big bat at a discounted rate?
Mills went 5-5 with a 3.22 ERA over 125.2 innings between Triple A and Double A last season. Good control – 122 strikeouts vs. 31 walks – with good but not great stuff, he could be an end of the rotation guy down the road for the Astros.
That’s all we’ve got for now.
We’ll keep coming up with purely hypothetical trades and signings until the Royals actually do something this offseason.