There’s another righthanded power hitter the KC Royals could approach this winter.
Imagine Dayton Moore’s search for a power hitter ending not with a lefty, and not with Yasiel Puig, but instead with another righthander who hit 18 home runs last season, which extrapolates to 48.6 over a full-length slate.
Imagine also that this player hasn’t hit less than 23 home runs since 2015, and averages 27 homers and almost 100 RBIs per 162 games.
Imagine Marcell Ozuna playing for the KC Royals.
It could happen—no less an authority than Jim Bowden suggests in The Athletic (subscription required) that Kansas City is among the teams that would be good destinations for Ozuna, whose eight-year career includes stops in Miami, St. Louis, and Atlanta.
Like Puig, Ozuna matches up well with righthanded pitchers (.272/.332/.453 career line) and would be a fine alternative if KC’s search for a lefty comes up empty. (Not surprisingly, he’s even better against southpaws, as his .294/.349/.517 slash against them proves).
Ozuna is an outfielder by trade and spends more time in left than anywhere else, which fits the Royals nicely because, with Alex Gordon retired, that’s the most logical place for a new bat. He certainly won’t bring a Gordon-level glove, and he probably isn’t as good defensively as Puig (who also isn’t as good as Gordon was), but he has the power and punch Moore wants.
Because Ozuna won’t have trouble finding work before the season starts, he’ll be more expensive than Puig. Will principal owner John Sherman sign a big check? It’s nice to think so, and nice to think Ozuna would talk to the KC Royals.