It appears as if Dayton Moore is making a real effort to improve the Kansas City Royals for the last two months of the 2013 season, as well as 2014.
According to CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler, the Royals have at least been in contact with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Los Angels Angels, and Chicago White Sox about the availability of these teams’ second basemen. The Royals have been inquiring about Rickie Weeks, Howie Kendrick (or possibly Erick Aybar), and Gordon Beckham.
It is no secret Kansas City needs to upgrade second base. Four players have combined for almost zero production for the Royals. Chris Getz, Johnny Giavotella, Elliot Johnson, and Miguel Tejada have combined for only 6 home runs and 42, and those numbers include Johnson’s and Tejada’s stats from all of their positions played. Of the four players, only Tejada is batting over .209.
Howie Kendrick may be the best of these options. The 30-year old has a career slash line of .292/.330/.429/.759. His 2013 numbers are all slightly over these career averages. He is under contract through 2015, and he is owed just under $20 million in 2014 and 2015.
Rickie Weeks hit 20 or more home runs each season from 2010-2012. He is owed $11 million in 2014 with a club option for $11.5 million in 2015. He has not been good in 2013 (.214/.316/.366/.683) and he has never been a very good fielder.
Gordon Beckham is only 25 and still has some potential. After having a nice rookie season in 2009, he struggled from 2010-2012, with a poor .238/.303/.362/.664 slash line. He has been much better in 2013 but has missed about half the season with an injury. He is making $2.925 million this season and is arbitration eligible in 2014 and 2015.
Beckham is by far the most affordable option and probably still has the most upside. The biggest drawback may be the White Sox may not want to trade him within their division, although Kansas City and Chicago have made trades in the past.
Weeks certainly has the most power but his dropping averages should frighten the Royals even if his inflated salary does not. Kendrick seems the safest, as well as the best, bet for the Royals. He is consistent with bat and glove although he is not flashy with either.
We will know within 24 hours whether or not Moore can pull off a deal and finally be able to cut ties with Chris Getz. The hang up will be what the price for any of these players will be. Surely, a pitcher the Royals don’t really want to part with will be the asking price. Moore seems ready to go it so we just may see some action tomorrow.