One team flush with outfielders could be a trading partner with KC Royals.
Rumors are swirling that after signing George Springer the Toronto Blue Jays are willing to part with an outfielder. This would be the perfect time for the KC Royals to make a much needed addition to the roster.
Under team control until 2024, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. would be the outfielder the team needs. He also brings another dangerous bat to the lineup.
Gurriel has been impressive since his debut in 2018 but he turned it up a notch in 2020. He slashed .308/.348/.534 registering career highs in those categories.
He also cut down his strikeouts by 44% even though he only had 34% fewer plate appearances. In other words, he is seeing the ball better and putting better swings on it.
While manning leftfield for almost all of his games played last season, Gurriel only committed one error and chipped in three outfield assists. He was around the league average in range factor – while he may not remind you of Alex Gordon he won’t hurt you in left.
Although he bats from the right side, Gurriel was strong against right-handers in ’20. His OPS was 73 points higher than from the left side of the plate.
Those splits go against his first two seasons but show he is a threat no matter who is on the mound. While a lefty bat was preferred, Gurriel is a valuable weapon against right-handed pitching.
Price of a premier outfield bat
Obviously, the KC Royals would need to part with a talent to obtain Gurriel. While we all have dreams of the dominant rotation to come, there are only so many starting pitchers you can have in a rotation.
One thing the team has a bunch of are left-hander starters. Mike Minor, Kris Bubic, and Danny Duffy are currently in the mix while Daniel Lynch and Asa Lacy are close behind.
With Brad Keller and Brady Singer already in the big leagues, you can see the log jam. Duffy would probably not bring Gurriel to the team but a young prospect could.
It would make sense to have Lynch be that trade target. Lacy was too high of a draft pick to give up at this point and the team can leverage Lynch’s minor league performances as why he is ready to help the Blue Jays.
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The Royals are usually on the other end of these deals, giving up proven talent for what they hope is future benefits. Although it would hurt to let Lynch go, let’s give the team a valuable weapon they could use now.