KC Royals Trades: Grading the club's 2023 major and minor league deals

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Aug. 1 - KC Royals trade Ryan Yarbrough to Los Angeles for Devin Mann and Derlin Figueroa.

We talked about how well Ryan Yarbrough was doing for the Los Angeles Dodgers since the trade deadline. Well, the night before that article was posted on Sept. 28. he allowed nine runs and three homers to the Colorado Rockies, throwing his statistics all of sorts. Yarbrough has had a rough month of September but was stellar in August. That volatility does not seem like the player Kansas City traded away in August.

The solid prospect plus lottery ticket return format applies here as well. Infielder Devin Mann joined the Royals' top-30 prospects list upon his arrival, thanks to his defensive versatility and ability to get on base. A .199 batting average leaves much to be desired, but the .758 OPS is acceptable after changing organizations at the Triple-A level. He had a .943 OPS in 89 games in the Dodgers organization, so that high-contact player is still there.

Derlin Figueroa was unquestionably the hottest minor-league acquisition this trade deadline. Granted, his 11 games were at the ACL, but he posted an astounding 1.688 OPS, 296 wRC+, and walked twice as much as he struck out. The 20-year-old can play all over the infield as well. He is certainly a player to watch for in 2024.

Grade: A-

Aug. 1 - Los Angeles trades Tucker Davidson to KC Royals for cash.

Remember what I said about player-for-cash trades? That applies at the MLB level as well. Davidson was hovering around a replacement level with the Los Angeles Angels, but the Royals needed some immediate bullpen arms after their deadline deals. Davidson provided a decent option with metrics that seemed he was performing better than the box score showed.

I keep going back and forth on Davidson. His overall time so far in Kansas City shows a pitcher below replacement level, with a poor fastball and so-so secondary pitches. But then he will go a couple of weeks pitching shutout ball, then I think he has a place in an MLB bullpen. He is out of options, so his roster chances for next season are not great. But, he still provided the Royals some innings for (hopefully) minimal cash.

Grade: D+