6 times the KC Royals fleeced MLB teams in cash consideration trades

After the KC Royals traded away Samad Taylor for cash, I wondered which player-for-cash trades Kansas City has netted notable returns.

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Gregg Olson
Traded by Cleveland Indians on July 24, 1995

Reliever Gregg Olson was far from an unknown before he came to Kansas City. He won AL Rookie of the Year honors with the Baltimore Orioles in 1989 and was an All-Star the following year. However, his career faced a significant hurdle in 1993 when he suffered a torn elbow ligament, which sidelined him for the rest of the season. It took Olson several years to rebound, but a key step was in Kansas City.

Olson played for the Royals twice in his 14-year career but was only traded to Kansas City in 1995. That was his first stint in a Royals uniform. Olson was not a shutdown reliever, with two blown saves to three saves. But his 20-game stretch in Kansas City saw him begin rounding into his previous form. He had ten shutout appearances, a 3.26 ERA, and a 148 ERA+ across 30 1/3 innings.

Throughout his career, Gregg Olson compiled 217 saves, a 40-39 win-loss record, 588 strikeouts, and a 3.46 ERA in 672 innings pitched. His time with the Royals was a significant part of his career, where he proved that he could still perform at a high level despite past injuries.

His true career resurgence came in 1998 with the brand-new Arizona Diamondbacks. He recorded 30 saves in 64 appearances, the most since his 1993 injury. The fastball lost some zip, but the 32-year-old's curveball and tunneling were honed in. His Kansas City stints were not as dominant as this, but they undoubtedly gave him time and experience back at an elite level.