The Royals are open to trade offers for Michael A. Taylor

The Royals are open to the possibility of dealing with the quarterback Michael A. Taylor, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. They also made a cornerback/outfielder Hunter Dozier Rosenthal writes, though, that Taylor is the sexiest of the duo.

Taylor, who turns 32 shortly before Opening Day, is coming off one of the best seasons of his career. He hit .254/.313/.357 with nine home runs over 456 plate appearances in 2022. That offensive output is below average but it was his best work at the plate since his 19 home appearances with the Nationals in 2017.

The right-handed hitter has a .241/.296/.381 streak in just under 2,800 plate appearances over parts of nine seasons. Strikes were a constant concern for most of that time, as he routinely batted in more than 30% of his trips to the plate during his time in Washington. Taylor has reduced that swing and misses quite a bit in recent years, though, including a strikeout percentage of 23.9% last season. That’s still a few points above average but not catastrophic, and his . 313 on-base percentage was also the best since that 2017 campaign.

Of course, Taylor’s biggest appeal lies in his defensive acumen. He’s an excellent midfielder, someone who routinely puts elite marks on his glove. Taylor is rated 60 times above average in 5,500 career innings at the center, by measuring the number of home runs saved. Statcast pegged him at 37 points over par since the start of the 2016 season. Even as he hit his 30s, the former sixth-round pick showed no signs of abating. DRS named him the most valuable defensive quarterback in the league this year, rating him 19 assists above average. Statcast wasn’t exactly bullish, giving him credit for +5 runs.

Whatever the exact value of Taylor’s defence, there is no doubt that he is a plus on this side of the ball. It’s also very affordable, owing to a modest $4.5 million guaranteed Season 2 two-year contract extension. He’ll hit free agency at the end of next year, but he’ll serve as a good replacement and/or a good fourth baseman at the opposition.

This is especially true given how shallow the central domain market is. Free agency is essentially devoid of regulars at this point, highlighted by players such as Jackie Bradley JrAnd the Rafael Ortega And the Bradley Zimmer. There are not many obvious commercial candidates either. Brian Reynolds It is the most common target for speculation after its ask trade, but the pirates have kept the asking price very high. This also applies to the Diamondbacks, who seek MLB-ready help on any trade that ships them Dalton FarshawAnd the Alec Thomas or Jake McCarthy. Players love Max Kepler And the Ramon Laureano It can alter uniforms, though each of them fit the right field better. Cedric MullinsAnd the Trent Grisham And the Dylan Carlson They all look like long shots, at best, of motion.

A number of teams could check with Kansas City over Taylor, who came in with a much lower asking price than any of the younger options with extended windows of remaining control. The Dodgers are scouring the trade market for center field assistance, Rosenthal writes, though it’s unclear if they have any interest in Taylor specifically. Other speculative candidates to add a field center include the Giants, Marlins, Red Sox, and Rockies.

While Taylor should make a few calls, the Kansas City numbers are going to have a hard time finding a taker for Dozier. The 31-year-old doesn’t have much defensive value. He is limited to corners and has a very poor rating at third base and in the outfield, with first base and designated hitter the best. Dozier hasn’t reached equal levels for those positions over the past two seasons, though he holds a combined streak of .226/.289/.391 in 1,043 plate appearances. FanGraphs and Baseball Reference both pinned his production below replacement level in both seasons.

The Royals have signed Dozier to a contract extension heading into the 2021 season, guaranteeing him $25 million over four years. This is one the organization would likely want to take back, as Dozier never made the expected move after hitting .279/.348/.522 with 26 homers in 2019. The former eighth overall pick is still owed $17.25 million over the next two seasons. (including the 2025 club option purchase), and the Royals will have to eat up the majority of that tab or win back a junk deal in exchange for finding a trigger.

If Dozier stays in Kansas City, Rosenthal suggests the Royals will likely move him back to third base. Vinny Pasquantino had captured first base or the assigned hitting assignment, while the previous top prospect Nick Prato You should get another chance in the other place. MJ Melendez He appears to be the favorite for playing time on the left, while the club has a number of players (Drew WatersAnd the Edward Olivares And the Kyle Isbel) who can compete with representatives in the right field.

Bringing Dozier back into the hot corner would reduce playing time for both of them Nate Eatonwho finished the season fairly well, is a 25-year-old freshman, and former prospect Adalberto Mondisi. Mondesi and the Royals have agreed to a $3.045 million salary for next year, buying his final season of arbitration eligibility. He’s coming off another mostly lost season due to injury, this time tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Rosenthal suggests KC could explore deals involving Mondesi, too.

Mondesi, 27, has shown an enviable mix of strength potential and athleticism at times. He stole 133 bases and connected with 38 home runs in 358 MLB games, handing out elite physical tools that made him a tantalizing young talent. Yet he also displayed a hyper-aggressive offensive style that affected his consistency, and he’s just a .244/.280/.408 career hitter. Mondesi has yet to appear in 500 games in a season, with oblique, hamstring, shoulder, back and hip problems all affecting him even before his ACL injury this year. He is a difficult player to count on with this kind of track record, but he has shown flashes of talent for influence intermittently as a senior.

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