The Kansas City Royals have a plethora of live arms in the bullpen and a need to improve their offense. According to MLB Trade Rumors and Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, the Colorado Rockies may be willing to part with Dexter Fowler.
The Royals can dangle a choice of effective relievers Aaron Crow and Tim Collins, plus starter turned reliever, turned starter, turned reliever, Wade Davis, for outfield help. The Rockies appear ready to move Fowler. This from Renck.
The Rockies main trade piece is center fielder Dexter Fowler, who could be a fit in Kansas City. Opposing executives have said for weeks that the Rockies are open to trading Fowler. The Rockies have already talked with Carlos Gonzalez about playing center field if necessary.
Fowler, who will 28 in March, as been a full time starter in the majors with the Rockies since 2009. He has 2635 career plate appearances, he has 606 hits, 120 doubles, 325 walks, and a .270 batting average. More importantly, Fowler sports a healthy .365 on base percentage.
While he doesn’t have much power, knocking out just 40 career home runs despite playing half his games in Coors Field, Fowler has hit as many as 35 doubles and 14 triples in a season. While Kauffman Stadium isn’t as spacious as Coors Field, there would be plenty of opportunities for Fowler to produce some extra base hits.
Fowler has earned a career Wins Above Replacement of 10, but he produced a WAR of 7.3 over the past three seasons. He also has a career Batting Average on Balls in Play of .348, well above the league average of around .300. This is driven by a higher than normal career line drive rate of 22%.
Another thing that would be attractive to the Royals is the fact that he has batted lead off in 357 games, covering 1684 plate appearances. He has been able to get on base batting in that spot with a .368 On Base Percentage. Acquiring Fowler could allow Alex Gordon to slide down a spot in the order to the number two spot.
With Runners In Scoring Position, Fowler has a .406 OBP over the course of his career. While he isn’t a big thumper, he can get on base.
The Royals have an abundance of relievers to trade, and Fowler would be a nice fit for the Royals despite the fact he hasn’t been the greatest center fielder while patrolling the spacious Coors Field, sporting a career Ultimate Zone Rating of -40.6, according to Fangraphs. The Royals could use Fowler in right field, leaving Lorenzo Cain in center as long as Cain can stay healthy(and very big if). The Royals have strong back up candidates for center field as well.
On top of everything else, Fowler is affordable. He will earn $7.35 million in 2014, and is arbitration eligible in 2015.
The Royals are not going to be able to afford any elite home run hitters, either by taking on salary in a trade, or signing a free agent. Fowler would be an overall upgrade, and would deepen the Royals batting order in a very positive way.
Dexter Fowler is not a superstar by any stretch of the imagination but he could be a very viable option who can probably be had for players in an area of depth for the Royals.