Kansas City made their first significant move of the offseason by signing starting pitcher Jason Vargas to a four-year, $32 million contract. So what else may the Royals being doing this offseason? It appears a trade (or two) may be in the works.
First, Bob Dutton reports that the Royals are willing to trade some of their relief pitchers to both clear out salary space and bring in some talent. The two names he mentions specifically? Aaron Crow and Tim Collins.
“Those are the guys they’d like to trade,” one rival club official said, “because they’re going to start to make a little bit of money. But the key thing for them is they have a lot of other guys ready to step in…guys who might be even better.”
Luke Hochevar and Will Smith replaced Crow and Collins in the closing weeks last season as the primary set-up relievers for Holland. The Royals also have Kelvin Herrera, Louis Coleman, Francisley Bueno, Donnie Joseph and Michael Mariot.
Dutton mentions the big contract middle reliever Joe Smith just signed with the Angels, and how that market may force some teams to trade a prospect or two for one of the Royals relievers. Crow and Collins each have three years of team control remaining and will cost far less than the $5 million Smith will make this season.
Keep in mind that the Oakland Athletics added right fielder Josh Reddick from the Boston Red Sox for oft-injured closer Andrew Bailey. Reddick has 44 home runs for the A’s in the last two years and has won a Gold Glove. Maybe there is a trade like that available for the Royals.
Collins and Crow could also be apart of a potential trade for Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick. Jon Heyman tweets that some rival executives think the Royals and Angels are a good fit.
Kendrick to KC could be “decent match” speculates 1 baseball person. Laa still looking for pitching.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 26, 2013
— Bob Dutton (@Royals_Report) November 26, 2013
There are two issues to a potential deal for Kendrick. One is money – Kendrick is still owed around $19 million for the remaining two years on his contract. Kansas City is already slightly above their stated budget of $85 million, so the Royals would have to clear out some space to add Kendrick contract.
The other is Crow and Collins would not be enough to land Kendrick in a trade. Los Angeles is probably going to want a starting pitcher as well, which may mean shipping Danny Duffy or Yordano Ventura to the Angels. Is that worth it?