Where Free Agents Will Sign If Kansas City Royals Completely Rebuild

(Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images) /
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KANSAS CITY, MO – SEPTEMBER 29: Alcides Escobar
KANSAS CITY, MO – SEPTEMBER 29: Alcides Escobar /

Alcides Escobar

There are few Kansas City Royals players who have been more polarizing than Alcides Escobar. He’s not polarizing in the way some players are. Nobody can question his attitude or commitment. Playing every day is a rarity in today’s game, and Escobar has done it three times in the past four seasons.

But there are many fans, a majority perhaps, who argued Escobar needed to be benched this past season. Consecutive games played streak be damned, his bat has not been what it used to be. His numbers haven’t dropped as dramatically as most people think. But there’s always been a question about his high strikeout-rate and low walk-rate. In 2017, Escobar struck out 102 times while drawing just 15 walks.

His speed also completely abandoned him. Escobar went from 17 steals in 21 tries to four in 11. For someone who is clearly not a power hitter, it’s hard to justify playing someone with so many strikeouts, so few walks and no speed. Even defensively, Escobar has fallen off. Since winning the Gold Glove in 2015, his defense has dropped considerably.

Even with all that information, there is still a large portion of the Kansas City Royals fanbase that wants him back next year. If that doesn’t happen, there will be maybe just a couple of teams looking for an almost 31-year-old shortstop. (Note: Escobar hasn’t played anywhere else in the infield at the major league level, so I doubt he will start anytime soon.)

Since the shortstop market is a tough one to gauge, we’ll say the most logical spot is the only organization that is clearly in the market — San Diego. The Padres won’t compete in 2018 and have some young studs at shortstop not yet ready for the big leagues. Escobar would buy them some time.

Logical spot: San Diego Padres