Kansas City Royals: Making the case, Orioles free agents

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images /

Ahead of Kansas City Royals free agency, let’s take a look at the Baltimore Orioles’ upcoming free agents and decide whether the team should pursue any.

Welcome to the continuation of our “Kansas City Royals: Making the case” series for free agency. The Baltimore Orioles were one of few teams worse than the hometown Royals in 2019. Losing the second-most games in the MLB at 108, it was a season to forget. First-year manager Brandon Hyde had his work cut out for him heading into the year, and it showed. If the organization wants to improve ahead of 2020, it’ll have to make a ton of transactions.

Speaking of transactions, the Royals won’t have to spend much time looking at Baltimore’s upcoming free agents for potential signings. Per Spotrac’s official list, Mark Trumbo is the only pending free agent left from this year’s roster.

Traditionally, the Kings of Kauffman team would list players and decide whether or not Dayton Moore should pursue them. Because Trumbo is a lone wolf here, let’s just break down what Moore would potentially be adding to the 2020 Kansas City Royals if he signed the 33-year-old.

Since leading the league in home runs with 47 back in 2016 and making his second All-Star team, Trumbo hasn’t been able to sniff that level of production in the years since. In 2017, he posted a line of 0.234/0.289/0.397 and hit for an OPS+ of just 84. Although those numbers increased to 0.261/0.313/0.452 and 108 the following year, he was limited to 90 games played.

2019 was a trainwreck for Trumbo. Right knee surgery and subsequent rehab caused him to appear in just 12 contests for Baltimore. In those dozen games, the right-handed hitter was borderline unplayable. A 0.172 batting average and 33 OPS+ were both far from promising signs for a player who once finished second in the 2011 Rookie of the Year race.

In terms of fit with the Kansas City Royals, Trumbo is primarily either a designated hitter or first baseman at this point in his career. Could he hold down a few games in a corner outfield spot? Probably. But even then, he’s a clear negative in terms of what he brings to the table on defense.

Next. Revisiting the 2015 ALCS Game 5. dark

Trumbo will be 34 years old by the time spring training rolls around. He has a flurry of things working against him, including a somewhat recent serious surgery, age and a sharp decline in production. He could be a candidate for a one-year “prove it” deal, but not for the Kansas City Royals.