Will this be the offseason the Royals trade Whit Merrifield? Somehow, Kansas City has yet to ship the 30-year-old, but with a new ownership group in place, maybe general manager Dayton Moore finally decides to trade him- the prospects they would receive are far more valuable to their rebuild than Merrifield. Whether it’s trading him, extending or trading Jorge Soler, or signing some buy-low free agent targets, the Royals should be a little more active than most rebuilding clubs, though they definitely won’t be stealing headlines.
Expected Direction: Some Activity, But Not Much To Speak Of- A Typical Rebuilding Team
Royals Sign 3B Maikel Franco
Contract Details: One Year, $2.95 Million (With $1.05 In Incentives)
Hoping to capitalize on a low-risk flyer, the Royals have signed third baseman Maikel Franco to a one-year contract. Franco, 27, was once a top prospect for the Phillies, and appeared to be a player on the rise after accumulating a 3.6 WAR in 232 games in 2015 and 2016. Heck, he even seemed like a capable starting third baseman in 2018, as he rebounded from -0.5 WAR 2017 season to post a 1.1 WAR. Instead, he once again fell flat, posting a 70 weighted-runs-created-plus (wrc+), .297 on-base percentage, and -0.5 WAR. On one end, Franco did have a career-best 8.4% walk rate, and could thrive in a new situation. However, most likely, he’ll continue to be a below-average hitter and defender; if the rumors are true that they chose Franco over Travis Shaw, then I continue to be baffled by the decisions this front office makes.
Royals Re-Sign OF Alex Gordon
Contract Details: One Year, $4 Million
Bringing back a fan favorite, the Royals have re-signed veteran outfielder Alex Gordon to a one-year contract worth $4 million. By doing so, the 35-year-old will make it 14 seasons with the Kansas City organization, and will presumably man a corner outfield spot for them. He’s regressed significantly every since signing a four-year extension following the 2015 season, but when he posted a 142 wrc+ in April, it appeared he may be getting back to his old ways. After that, however, he really struggled, and in the end, finished with a 96 wrc+ and 1.3 fWAR. That’s a reasonable expectation for him this season, which isn’t great, but as long as he isn’t blocking any younger players, there’s not much harm in this for a rebuilding team.
*Will Be Updated With Every Move The Royals Make