3 outfield trade candidates to help the KC Royals make a playoff push

Kansas City's outfielders leave much to be desired at the plate. These trade candidates could help.
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Taylor Ward, Angels

The Los Angeles Angels are going to be sellers this year; that much is certain. They have two relievers who might be nice additions to the Royals' bullpen, but one outfielder, Taylor Ward, could provide a boost to the offense.

Ward, 30, is a late bloomer. Drafted in 2015 out of Fresno State, he didn't play full-time in the majors until 2022. This season, he's slashing .242/.326/.442 with a team-leading 14 home runs and 41 RBI. Ward walks frequently — his 11.1 BB% ranks in the 83rd percentile, and his hard contact, average exit velocity, and chase rates are all near the top of the majors. Suffice it to say, Ward is one of the best all-around hitters in baseball.

Defensively, he profiles best as a corner outfielder; he's not much of a burner, so he likely won't be chasing down balls in center. Ward is probably an average defender at best this season, and that's been the case for his entire career up to this point.

Ward won a $4.8 million 2024 salary in arbitration and still has two more years of arbitration eligibility. If he continues to perform at his current level, his cost could increase. Given his team control and offensive output this year, he is a strong candidate for a trade, although acquiring him could be costly for the Royals in terms of prospects. Nevertheless, it would be wise for Picollo to reach out to the Angels.