The KC Royals need a big bat. Securing the services of one of the top guns would be monumental.
If it’s been written once, it’s been written a thousand times: the KC Royals must find some significant offensive punch for the middle of their lineup. There are plenty of big sticks on the market, but does Kansas City have the wherewithal to put a deal together for one of them?
Where to play a star with a mean bat is the first question, and designated hitter is the wrong answer. The Royals just re-signed Jorge Soler and won’t move him until midsummer trade time at the earliest. The correct response is first or third base: non-tendering Maikel Franco opened up third and a Hunter Dozier return to the hot corner would reopen first base. Looking for a corner infielder makes sense.
Justin Turner, a third baseman most of his career, would be a major surprise. The Dodgers surely want him back, and how much incentive can Turner have to leave an LA club that make the playoffs and contends for the World Series every year? He hit 105 homers from 2015-2019 and, despite hitting only four in 2020, reaffirmed his ability to get on base with a .307 average and .400 OBP in 42 games. He consistently hits for power and average. His defense isn’t stellar, but the Royals are looking for offense more than defense for the middle of their order.
Turner’s pre-proration 2020 salary was $19 million, so the hit to the Royals’ coffers required to sign him would be significant. It could be done, but at what cost to other needs, such as signing Salvador Perez to an extension? And, with Bobby Witt Jr. close to being major league-ready and probably destined for third base, only a one-year deal makes sense. Pursuing Turner would be a surprise; actually signing him could help for a season, and would be a bombshell.