KC Royals: Responding to Rising Apple’s trade offer

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images /

The KC Royals could use some steady production at first base. Rising Apple, FanSided’s Mets affiliate site, has proposed a deal to help.

The KC Royals have had a lot of trouble at the first base position since Eric Hosmer departed after the 2017 season. The youthful Ryan O’Hearn was given a shot to run away with the job and put up some solid numbers in limited action in 2018. This past season, he struggled immensely, prompting general manager Dayton Moore to acquire Ryan McBroom to add a competitive element to things.

O’Hearn’s ceiling is much higher than that of McBroom, but the elder Ryan has done a better job as of late. As we head into spring training, those two are in line to compete for the starting gig at first base. Whether that’s a good or bad thing depends on perspective.

New York Mets site and FanSided affiliate, Rising Apple, recently addressed the KC Royals’ need of a consistent presence at first. James Richards suggested the following trade be conducted in order to satisfy both teams:

Because of the emergence of 2019 NL Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso, Dominic Smith wasn’t able to keep the full-time first base job. After two partial seasons filled with struggles and failure to live up to the hype once placed upon him as a Mets top prospect, Smith broke through a bit in 2019. Hitting .282 with 11 home runs in 177 at-bats, he flashed some of his potential.

In return, the Mets would be receiving pitchers Tim Hill and Daniel Tillo from the good guys. Tillo is the Royals’ No 30. prospect according to MLB Pipeline, possessing the potential to become a back-of-the-rotation arm down the line. Hill was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak Royals bullpen in 2019, spinning a 3.63 ERA in 39.2 innings.

At the end of the day, this trade would provide the KC Royals with even more competition at first base in Smith. He’s under club control long-term and showed last year that he may be able to hit at a productive level. On the other hand, he has two other seasons that may indicate otherwise. Would adding Smith into the fold with O’Hearn and McBroom really make a huge difference, or would it complicate things even more?

On top of that, Hill is a valuable bullpen piece that Moore would be wise to hold onto for as long as possible. This goes without even touching on Tillo, who is the most dispensable piece of the trade but still offers value as a future arm.

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This trade wouldn’t be a needle-mover and considering the current state of the club, I’m going to pass on it. Smith could become a good player one day, but 2020 is about figuring out whether O’Hearn and/or McBroom belong with the club for years to come. Additionally, Hill is a solid reliever and Tillo, albeit a low-ranking prospect, is still a top-30 one.