Why the Jorge Soler deal is good for the KC Royals
Hot takes are all over the place on Twitter after the Royals traded away all-star reliever Wade Davis in exchange for 24-year old Cuban OF Jorge Soler.
The trade with the Chicago Cubs broke early Wednesday morning and the takes immediately began. While I can’t link direct tweets, they said something like “we should have gotten more for Wade, disappointed …” or “Can’t believe Dayton made this deal, terrible trade.” Should one go and look at my Twitter page, it is quite the opposite; I like the trade, and here’s why…
Last season, Davis spent most of the season riddled with arm injuries that would only allow him to toss 43.1 innings, where he posted his highest ERA since 2013 at 1.87. Obviously, an ERA below two isn’t anything to sneeze at, but there’s no doubt that Kelvin Herrera could easily step into the closer role. Herrera posted a 2.75 ERA in a little over 70 innings pitched. Additionally, Davis will be/would have been a free agent after the 2017 season.
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As for Jorge Soler, I’m well aware that he’s way too young to give any real insight on his true potential, but that is just the reason why I like this trade so much. His contract is outstanding; he is under contract through the 2020 season, but eligible for arbitration at points in his contract as well. Should Soler eventually file for arbitration, it means that he has broken out and performed out of the range of his contract, which would still make me happy despite the Royals having to pay him more money. Soler will earn $15 million over the next four years, barring any arbitration.
In 2016, he made starts in left and right field. His batting line read .238/.333/.436 with 12 HR, 31 RBI, 31 BB and 66 SO in 264 plate appearances. Regarding his defense, his arm is on the north end of decent and his ball-tracking skills are not too shabby. He has true potential and will have plenty of time with the Royals to show both GMDM and Royals fans that he was worth the trade. The challenge for him will be the transition from the second smallest ballpark in the MLB to roaming the outfield of the second largest ballpark in the bigs.
Next: Profile: New Royals OF Jorge Soler
Bottom Line For KC Royals
The bottom line is that the Royals are getting a young, controllable, power-heavy, defensively decent player for four years at the expense of one year without an outstanding, yet injury-prone and easily replaceable reliever. Sounds ideal to me.