KC Royals: Would Cristian Pache fit in Kansas City?
By Jacob Milham
If the KC Royals want to take a page from the Kansas City Chiefs, they should start taking chances on former top prospects. They did so with outfielder Drew Waters, and he looked strong in limited action during the 2022 season. Waters' former minor-league teammate and Oakland A's outfielder Cristian Pache will not make the team's Opening Day roster, according to reports. The fit with the Royals is there, and he could be a low-cost acquisition with long-term benefits.
Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle broke the news after Oakland manager Mark Kotsay announced the move. Pache, only 24 years old, went to Oakland with high expectations that he never came close to achieving. When the Atlanta Braves traded for Matt Olson, Pache was Oakland's key return. The former top Braves prospect was Oakland's 2022 Opening Day starter in center field, but he struggled greatly. Oakland optioned him down to Triple-A in June, and Pache did return to the majors later that season. In total, he played in 91 MLB games in 2022 with a .459 OPS and -.6 WAR. Those are hardly the numbers Oakland anticipated from Pache in his first full season.
Cristian Pache could be hitting the waiver wire in coming days. The KC Royals should absolutely take a chance on the former top prospect.
The kicker is this: Pache is out of minor-league options. So, if the A's want to keep Pache, they will have to designate him for assignment and hope a team does not pick him up on waivers. Out of the other 29 MLB teams, one pickup Pache on waivers seems like a lock. Oakland knows this, and they are exploring a potential trade, according to Kotsay.
"There are some teams interested and they should be. This kid still has a big future in this game, in my opinion. He’s a plus defender and I think the offensive side, it always takes longer to develop. Unfortunately for us, where we’re at, we kind of ran out of time with that."- Oakland A's manager Mark Kotsay
Oakland is out of time, but that is something the Royals will have in 2023. If he is available on waivers or in a minor trade, why would the Royals take a chance on Pache?