Kansas City Royals: What Brian Goodwin means for the rebuild
The Kansas City Royals made a trade that seems less than exciting. However, this move might make more sense than expected.
If you’re like me, this wasn’t the “Breaking News” I was hoping for with the Kansas City Royals and a trade. When the news first broke, this trade seemed like a move that didn’t really mean much to the Royals. Which leads to the question of “why make the trade”?
After thinking about it more, and looking into newly acquired outfielder Brian Goodwin, this move isn’t all that bad. In fact, if you think about it, you can make sense as to why this move was made.
So, how does this move make sense?
When looking at how the Royals are currently set up, it is an interesting move. Which means you have to look big picture with this trade. When looking at the big picture, the trade has a purpose.
Offensively, Goodwin isn’t awful. Yes, he is hitting .200/.321/.354 this year. However, excluding this year and looking at his first two years, he is hitting .256/.314/.488 over 96 games. He has some pop, hitting 21 doubles and 13 home runs over 74 games in 2017. In fact, Goodwin had a 96 wRC+ in 2016 and a 105 wRC+ in 2017. Goodwin would have played more in 2017, only he found himself on the DL after injuring his groin.
Defensively, Goodwin is solid as well. He is a true center fielder but can play all three outfield spots if needed. With his speed and arm strength, he can make the throws necessary to benefit the team.
The last aspect to consider is team control. As of right now, 2019 is his last year of being under Team Control (making the league minimum) and then from 2020-2022, he would be in his arbitration years. Meaning, he wouldn’t be eligible for free agency until 2023. For someone with the possibilities he has, that isn’t a bad thing.
But he’s blocking players and doesn’t fit the rebuild model…right?
Not necessarily true. This is where things can get a bit complexed. Again, we are looking big picture and what could make this a logical move.
Where will he play?
With Goodwin’s speed, and the Royals not having a natural center fielder, I would imagine he would start there.
I know they have Rosell Herrera who has been a pleasant surprise for the Royals after claiming him from Cincinnati. Since coming to Kansas City, he has played in the outfield, but primarily at center. Therefore, moving Goodwin to center would make Herrera the fourth outfielder, or at best make Herrera and Goodwin platooned centerfielders.
Which leads me to my next point. Since being claimed by the Royals, Herrera has played in 22 games and hit a solid .250/.289/.345 slash. While that isn’t stellar, for the Royals offense this year it might be to “good” to leave on the bench. Therefore, the Royals would have to find a new home for Herrera. That new home could be third base.
While Herrera has played nearly every games of his big league career in the outfield, Herrera does have infield experience. While in the minors, Herrera played 90 games at third base, 307 games at shortstop, and just 6 games at second. With Adalberto Mondesi starting to take over at shortstop and Whit Merrifield still manning second base, that leaves third base open once Mike Moustakas is traded.
Before you say anything…
Yes, Hunter Dozier is a third baseman who is playing first base right now. In fact, nearly his entire career has been spent at third base. Logically it makes sense that Dozier would transition back to third base. Before this trade, I was planning on seeing Dozier transition to third base. However, you have to think about this in a “big picture” way now with Goodwin on the team.
If you were to look at this from a logistical way now, you would have to ask yourself the tough question.
Are you going to force Goodwin and Herrera to platoon just to move Dozier to third base?
This seems like a pretty straightforward answer to me. No.
Dozier needs more time to really evaluate what he can do. However, I don’t think he deserves to play over Goodwin or Herrera. With consistent playing time, Goodwin is a solid MLB player. Right now with a small sample size, Herrera looks like a solid MLB player. Dozier, on the other hand, is showing a lack of offensive ability at the MLB level.
To me, once Moustakas is traded, this would be the most logical arrangement.
- Catcher: Salvador Perez
- First base: Dozier/Lucas Duda
- Second base: Merrifield
- Third base: Herrera
- Shortstop: Mondesi
- Left field: Alex Gordon
- Center field: Goodwin
- Right field: Jorge Bonifacio
- Designated hitter: Duda/Dozier
- Bench: Drew Butera/Alcides Escobar/Paulo Orlando
By keeping Dozier at first base they are able to achieve this lineup, keeping Herrera in the lineup and giving Goodwin another chance to prove why he was a first-round pick in 2011.
*Avoid fixating on Escobar being on the bench. I know that most likely won’t happen*
I personally like the trade. Goodwin still has four years of team control after this year. They have the ability to give Goodwin consistent at-bats to see if he can replicate 2017 or better. Goodwin also provides the Royals with seemingly a viable center fielder.
With Jorge Soler looking more and more like his season is over, Goodwin provides the Royals with a viable outfield option that is better than Orlando and recently released Abraham Almonte.
This move also doesn’t block anyone in the minor leagues. While the Royals have players in Omaha I would like to see at some point this year, none are outfielders. Elier Hernandez has started showing promise, however, he should probably finish the year in Omaha to see if he can replicate his Double-A numbers.
Next: The Royals make a second trade with the Nationals
This is a low-risk/high-reward type trade. If Goodwin works out, then the Royals have an outfielder they can use until Khalil Lee is ready, or to replace Gordon after the 2019 season. If he does well to end this year and the start of next year, the Royals could even flip him if the outfield starts to become full.
If he doesn’t work out, they traded a “hopeful pitching prospect” for a cheap player with more potential that they can cut at a low cost if needed. It’s not the move I wanted an update on, but it’s a move that stands a good chance at helping the Royals in some capacity right now.
What do you think Royals fans? Did this help clear up how the Royals could utilize him? Have your opinions changed any about the trade? Let us know below!