While it’s unlikely the KC Royals would want to get rid of any of their top hitters, if the return is right, they might just make a deal.
It never fails, rumors always surface about trades and teams making moves. It doesn’t matter if it’s the most recent World Series winner or a team like the KC Royals who are trying to rebuild, word will spread about certain players being moved even if it is untrue.
For the Royals, these rumors typically fall to Whit Merrifield. Merrifield has everything anybody could want in a player, and many around baseball continue to feel as though the Royals are going to ship him off. The organization, though, has never shown any clear interest in getting rid of their star player.
Another player that has been mentioned when it comes to trades is Jorge Soler. Soler looks to be getting to a point where he will cost too much for the Royals to keep around and because of this, the team might try to find a way to get a good return for him.
For many, it’s likely no surprise that Martin Fenn at Bleacher Report included Soler in his recent piece predicting 10 players who could find themselves as the subject of trade rumors during winter meetings.
Soler didn’t garner as much attention from others around the league until 2019. Up to that point, he had shown some power but struggled to stay healthy. In 2019, though, he was able to put together a full season and put on a clinic.
Soler slashed .265/.354/.569 for the season and racked up 33 doubles and an American League leading 48 home runs, also breaking the Royals single season record.
Since then, Soler has been seen as a higher value target and one that the Royals may not be able to hold onto. Because of this, his name has come up as a valuable trade piece for the team that is trying to rebuild with a younger core.
Soler saw some regression in 2020 and was out for a small portion of the season due to injury, but still managed to put up 8 home runs.
Soler hasn’t ever hit for more than a .265 average in any large sample of a major league season and he is a strikeout machine. Still, with his home run slugging and ability to drive in runs, it’s not surprising that he could be seen as a good piece to pick up. With teams wanting to hit more home runs, and a possibility that the National League could continue to see a designated hitter, Soler could quickly become a highly sought after player.
For the Royals, though, jumping on the trade train might not be in their best interest. They are running out of time as Soler is entering his 3rd year of arbitration, but they shouldn’t count themselves out of the fight.
Soler has a long history of injury and one season of success. While his 2019 season added a great deal of value to the slugger, his inability to stay healthy could drive his price down to where the Royals may be more comfortable in offering a long term contract.
The Royals offense suffered in 2020. While a return for Soler could be huge, for a team that wants to win now, getting rid of one of their biggest offensive producers could cause them to regress in their rebuild instead of helping their cause with more prospects.
It’s likely Jorge Soler will be the subject of some trade rumors during the next few months, but what the Royals could do in that situation is up in the air. If the return is right, Kansas City may welcome some new prospects, but if winning is really the plan, they might find the funds to keep the slugger around for a few more years.
Bleacher Report predicts Jorge Soler will be the subject of some trade rumors during the winter meetings. This is likely, but the Royals should remain focused on winning and ensuring their offense gets better, not worse.