Going into the 2023 season, the KC Royals don’t have many players signed to long term contracts. Salvador Perez has a four-year contract worth a minimum of $82 million that expires in 2026, Hunter Dozier’s four-year contract worth $25 million expires at the end of the 2025 season, and Michael A. Taylor has a two-year contract worth $9 million that expires at the end of next season.
All three players provide a specific quality to the team. Perez is the heart of the Royals, has over 200 home runs and 700 RBIs, and his leadership qualities are unmatched. Dozier provides versatility with his ability to play multiple positions. Taylor won a Gold Glove in 2021 and has had two of his most productive seasons with Kansas City.
But why should the Royals keep Taylor when they have Drew Waters?
The KC Royals should consider trading Michael A. Taylor this offseason.
Although Taylor has played Gold Glove-caliber defense the last two years, he blocks the playing time of several young players like Waters, Kyle Isbel, Nate Eaton, and Edward Olivares, who came off the Injured List today and is in the club’s lineup for this afternoon’s game at Boston:
At certain times throughout this season, Waters, Isbel, Eaton and Olivares have shown flashes of being capable of playing center field although Isbel, Eaton and Olivares might be better suited for right or left.
Waters, however, was the centerpiece of Kansas City’s July deal with the Atlanta Braves that involved the club trading its 2022 Competitive Balance draft pick for Waters, CJ Alexander, and Andrew Hoffman. Waters, who was at the time Atlanta’s No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, is a true center fielder and a five-tool player. In his brief time with the Royals, Waters is hitting only .182 but has shown the speed and range necessary to cover the spacious outfield of Kauffman Stadium.
He also slashed an impressive .295/.399/.541 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs for Triple-A Omaha before Kansas City brought him up to the big leagues in August.
With Taylor heading into the final year of his contract and Waters now in the major leagues, Taylor should be considered for an offseason trade.
The Royals should think about moving Michael A. Taylor before next season.