The latest trade rumors include ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reporting in two tweets this morning that the Kansas City Royals have backed away from Boston’s Jonny Gomes and Minnesota’s Josh Willingham in KC’s search for outfield help at the 2014 trade deadline.
#Royals have backed off Jonny Gomes because they want a bat that can play RF. He doesn’t fit that description.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 30, 2014
Right now, the consistent theme is that the Royals want 1) someone who plays good right field defense, and 2) won’t cost major money.
Kansas City immediately ran away from Alex Rios and Marlon Byrd when rumor suggested both hitters expected any team acquiring them to pick up their options. The Royals backed away from Gomes and WIllingham due to concerns about their defense.
Apparently, KC GM Dayton Moore realizes that pitchers like Jaon Vargas and Jeremy Guthrie have been effective largely due to Kansas City’s phenomenal outfield defense. A statue in right might destroy any value his bat would bring by undermining the very thing that has allowed the team to get good service from middle-of-the road starters.
The above requirements leave a short list of “fits” for the Royals on the current market, which include Tampa’s Ben Zobrist, and perhaps Matt Joyce—though his defense is probably subpar relative to Kansas City’s standard (-3.0 dWAR over his 7 year career).