Home > Uncategorized > Royals Holiday Shopping – Corner Outfield, Part Deux

Royals Holiday Shopping – Corner Outfield, Part Deux

On Monday, we talked about some possible bargain free agent corner outfielders with some power. There is another route the team could go on to add this mythical player they have long coveted, and that is the trade route. And as if Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star knew that this was going to be my topic today, he wrote a piece about a player the Royals may be dangling in a trade, Robinson Tejeda. So that got me thinking about who loves relievers more than anyone, and my answer was Ed Wade. To the Astros!

The Astros have two players the Royals could potentially be interested in, one WAY more than the other. I’m fairly certain that Tejeda alone wouldn’t get the job done, but he would possibly be a nice start to acquiring Hunter Pence. An article came out yesterday that said the Astros were working on a long-term contract with Wandy Rodriguez, but not with Michael Bourn or Hunter Pence. I have no basis for this, but if this is truly an indication that they’re not signing him long-term, he may be available. In Pence, you have a player who has hit exactly 25 home runs three years in a row. He’s not much at getting on base, but he’ll give you a decent average, some power and good defense in the outfield. He’s not a star, but he’s a nice complementary player on a good team. I’d offer up Tejeda and Meche and when I got shot down, maybe Clint Robinson in place of Meche. I know they just acquired Brett Wallace, but the Astros have been known to change directions. The other option from the Astros would have to involve some serious cash and that’s Carlos Lee who is owed $37 million over the next two years. That’s a pretty steep price, but if the Astros chipped in a ton, he’s an option.

Another option, which I’ve been an advocate of for some time now is Ryan Spilborghs of the Rockies. He’s owed less than $2 million in 2011 and is still under team control for (I believe) two more seasons after that. What Spilborghs lack in power is made up for with his defensive prowess. Not only is he a plus in the corner, but he can also play a good center field, which is a big organizational need. I’m guessing he could be had for Tejeda straight up and would be a great addition. He wouldn’t provide the middle of the order bat that Dayton seems to be looking for, but he can be the leader of the bottom of the lineup. He’ll give you a walk in about 10% of his plate appearances and will give it all he’s got every time he’s on the field.

The Nationals also have a pretty darn talented player in Josh Willingham who is beginning to get expensive, but can provide a nice bridge to the prospects. Willingham isn’t exactly a gold glover on defense, but he also won’t embarrass you out there. He’ll get on base at a clip around .360 consistently and will slug between .450 and .500 every year. He’s sort of like a right-handed version of DDJ, but lighter on the defense and heavier on the power.

The granddaddy trade acquisition of them all is Justin Upton of the Diamondbacks. Tejeda is not going to get it done alone as the Diamondbacks are looking for a return similar to what the Royals are looking for in return for Greinke. The talks for Upton start with at least two of the top prospects in the Royals system, which as you all know is the best in baseball. I just like saying that*. Upton’s potential is through the roof and he’s fairly affordable for the next five seasons. He plays good defense, has power, has hit for average in the past and gets on base. He does strike out quite a bit, but that’s one of those things that you deal with in a great player if he does enough well. Upton would look great in the Royals lineup, but I’m not sure if he’s worth the cost. That cost may actually be more as the Royals are one of the teams he has in his no-trade clause which means that in order to accept a trade to the Royals he might ask that they rip up his contract and start fresh for more money.  

*This might be better served as its own topic entirely, but I’ll get into it here anyway. Having the best farm system in baseball should serve two purposes. The first is that it provides players for the big league roster. Typically, prospects don’t come out of nowhere anymore as there is just so much reporting out there that it’d be hard to miss someone. The second purpose is to trade for talent. It goes back to Dayton Moore’s pitching as currency comparison. I’m completely on board with that, but part of me thinks that if the organization is completely sold on these players becoming frontline players, why get rid of them for one guy? I understand the argument that you’re trading potential for certainty, but I kind of feel like it’s prudent to trade these prospects when you’re looking for those final pieces to put you over the top. I don’t know, I ramble on this topic and go back and forth.

One bonus player for your pleasure who could be available for Tejeda plus someone is not necessarily a corner outfielder, though he has spent significant time there. It’s Ben Zobrist of the Rays. I don’t have any basis for thinking he’s available, but the Rays are losing almost their entire bullpen from 2010 and could benefit from a fairly affordable reliever in Tejada. In Zobrist, the Royals would be buying low as he struggled in 2010, but had two consecutive seasons previously with a .500+ slugging percentage. He can play all over the diamond. He’s best in the outfield actually defensively, but plays a good second base and a below average shortstop. If he’s available, I’d jump all over him.

Lots of options out there. Some cost more than others, but I think they’d all help the Royals in their own way.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: