KC Royals: Dayton Moore will be judged on winter moves

(Photo by Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)
(Photo by Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) /
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KC Royals
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How Moore answers outfield questions will be critical to his evaluation as KC Royals’ GM.

Dayton Moore continues, without success, to look for a new lefthanded power bat. The most logical destination for such a find, if he’s found, is the opening in left field. The Royals have plenty of internal candidates, led by Franchy Cordero, with Nick Heath and Khalil Lee as other lefty-hitting possibilities.

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With the field of free agents narrowing, the best case scenario is Moore signing an established lefthanded bat (Eddie Rosario, Joc Pederson and Marwin Gonzalez—also a switch hitter—are still available); the second best is that Cordero, who possesses more power than Heath and Lee, succeeds.

The worst case, of course, is that Moore fails to land a suitable free agent, Cordero doesn’t pan out at all, and left field remains a sore spot. Moore will be criticized for an unsuccessful search, for obtaining Cordero in the first place, and for not finding an answer.

Moore’s biggest concern, however, may be Michael A. Taylor, the speedy but light-hitting outfielder he signed in late November. Taylor certainly seems by all accounts to be the KC brass’ first choice for center field, but expecting him to suddenly hit well may be expecting too much. Signing Taylor was a surprise, and promoting him as a top center field choice could backfire on Moore. If it does, the general manager will have to answer for it.