I know we are only a month into the postseason and I know there are 3-4 more months left for the Royals to scrap together a deal that will appease the baseball deity, Alex Gordon, but all signs are strongly pointing to Gordo leaving KC (and if it all goes my way, he’ll leave the AL entirely, a pill that will be much easier to swallow than say, if he signed with the Tigers *shudder*). It’s time to prepare ourselves for a 2016 sans Golden Gordo.
Today, we are going to look at the top trade prospects from outside of the Royals organization, next Thursday we will dive into the Royals minor league options.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. is one of the rumored players the Royals could be interested in. He is currently with the Red Sox. Bradley, Jr. would be a fantastic pickup for the Royals, who are highly defensive-minded. The kid has a cannon for an arm. His speed and instincts in the outfield remind me a lot of Lorenzo Cain and since he does technically play CF right now, the comparison is easily made. He certainly needs some fine tuning with defensive strategy, but the Royals do have Rusty Kuntz, the baseball savant, to polish him up. His hitting is average, at best. He has quick hands, but his swing is a little long. With the Royals “get em on, get em over” approach, he should do a passable job at the bottom of the order. Unfortunately, the new Red Sox president of baseball operations (read: overpaid GM), has a bit of a hard-on for Bradley, Jr., so acquiring him would probably not be cheap.
Social media scouting report: He takes time to take pictures with and tweet out to all of his fans. He likes to sightsee with his wifey. He has terrible taste in movies (WASTED MONEY AT A THEATER to see Ant Man, Minions, and God knows what else he didn’t bother to tweet about). He supports his alma mater, South Carolina. He made pumpkin cheesecake bars one time.
Gerrardo Parra is a free agent who last played for the Baltimore Orioles. Parra’s contract projections look to be about the same, if not less, than what the Royals have been paying Alex Gordon for the past few years, so swapping him in would be an easy solution, monetarily. Parra, too, has an outstanding arm from the outfield. Every team he has played for has openly praised his defensive skills, saying that he even baits runners into attempting that extra base, just so he can throw them out. Remind you of anyone?
Parra has a better bat than Bradley, Jr. and a slightly below average strikeout rate that meshes with the Royals never strike out attitude. Parra looked to be trending up in most of his batting categories at the beginning of last year, maybe finally flipping that switch into superstardom, however he faltered in the second half after being traded to the Orioles. If I had to guess, if Parra was given a steady contract somewhere, he would quickly return to the high quality offense he was producing before the trade.
Social media scouting report: Gerrardo Parra is from Venezuela. If he signed, Parra would have fellow countrymen Salvador Perez, Omar Infante, and Alcides Escobar to help show him the ropes in KC. I think we would officially be Venezuela del Norte at that point. Parra is an avid futbol fan, as you might assume. Though a majority of his Twitter is in Spanish, Parra does his best to tweet everything again in English to help reach all of his fans. He reminds me of a less shy Omar Infante. Parra seems to be a bit of a romantic. He and his wife have matching infinity tattoos.
Last, but not least, is the possibility of the Royals re-signing Ben Zobrist. We have all heard how much he enjoys KC and would be more than happy to call it home for a few more years (his newborn baby’s middle name is Royal, for crying out loud). Zobrist is less defensively talented as the previous two options, but makes up for it by being a flexible utility player. At the plate, we all know how perfect he is for the Royals system. The guy puts up a great at bat every time he’s up and is a real nuisance to opposing pitchers with his ability to walk and hit it out of the park from both sides of the plate. Zobrist is looking to make around $15-16 million per year, which coupled with the fact that the team is a lock to go back to the postseason and that Zobrist is comfortable in KC, he is not out of the Royal’s realm of possibilities.
Social media scouting report: Ben doesn’t have his own Twitter, but his wife, Julianna, covers all of the Zobrist stalking bases for us on Twitter and on their shared website, thezobrists.com. The Zobrists are all about family with their three children, who are home-schooled and often travel with Ben and Julianna (who is a Christian music star). Julianna tweets about 100 times a day, so I’m not going to do the full stalk, but you are more than welcome to it. The Zobrists are basically everything you wish your marriage would be.
This one goes out to you, Alex Gordon.