KC Royals: Judging the Davis/Soler Swap

May 8, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;Kansas City Royals right fielder Jorge Soler (12) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;Kansas City Royals right fielder Jorge Soler (12) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

In the off-season the KC Royals traded All-World closer Wade Davis to the newly minted World Champion Chicago Cubs for outfielder Jorge Soler

Who remembers seeing this?

Now who wept on the inside after reading that news?  Please don’t let me be the only one with his hand raised. In an age of instant analysis everyone wants to talk about who “won” a trade immediately. With this trade it is easy to say the Cubs fleeced the KC Royals.

However, I would hesitate and pose that we will not know the answer till next season at the earliest.

This year Wade Davis is doing Wade Davis things on the north side. He has a 1.21 ERA with 13 saves and a 2-0 record in 23 games.

Jorge Soler meanwhile resides in Triple-A Omaha. A lot of fans may see this as a negative, but I wonder if they are seeing what #SolerPower has been doing since being added to the Storm Chasers roster.

This trade was never about this season. If Soler contributed for Kansas City in 2017 it would be a plus. The most MLB at bats in a season he had seen totaled 366. The 25 year old, with huge raw power, was obtained to be a long term piece to the next championship puzzle. That power is an element of the game that the KC Royals have rarely seen.

After an oblique injury this spring cost Soler playing time in April he went on to a disappointing KC Royals debut. In 55 at bats, Soler slashed .164/.292/.273 with 1 HR and 3 RBIs. Inconsistent playing time did little in the way of helping either.

On June 3rd the KC Royals optioned Soler to Omaha. As I suggested here this seems to be precisely what was needed to turn things around.

In 65 Triple-A at bats, Soler has put together a much more impressive .277/.382/.662 line with 8 HRs and 18 RBIs. The bat has come alive with consistency.

Soler is showing the potential that is vital to the KC Royals relevance going forward. It doesn’t matter if it comes as a corner OF or at DH, Kansas City needs to see similar production from him with the big club. It seems that Jorge will continue to get regular playing time for the Storm Chasers at least through the All Star Break.

Fans should expect to see him back in Kansas City sometime during the second half of the season. If it’s due to potential trades or a September call up (at the latest) Soler has not had his last MLB AB in 2017.

However, being able to realistically critique the off-season deal will hinge on the 2018 season. Soler must become an MLB regular beginning next season. Signed through 2020, Soler should have three productive seasons (at a team friendly rate) remaining in a KC Royals uniform.

Meanwhile Wade Davis is eligible for Free Agency this winter and we have seen that there is no guarantee that he will be back with the Cubs next season.

I will not argue that for 2017 the Cubs got the better end of the trade. There is still plenty of time and opportunity for the KC Royals and Jorge Soler to come out on top in this deal though. For now it’s okay to get excited and enjoy Jorge’s play in Omaha. If he can limit injury it is easy to see Soler among the next wave of fan favorites in Kansas City. After all “Soler Power” makes everything better.

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Tell me, what does #RoyalsNation think about Soler, the trade, and the future?