Royals Rumors: Could Another Deal With Chicago Cubs Be Brewing?
Royals general manager Dayton Moore already pulled the trigger on one major deal with the Cubs by sending Wade Davis to Chicago in return for Jorge Soler. Could another swap be in the works?
Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore said something rather interesting in a radio show with 610 AM’s Bob Fescoe on December 22 (as reported by Royals Review). The Wade Davis/Jorge Soler trade INVOLVED OTHER PLAYERS AT ONE POINT IN TIME. Further, the deal for Davis became so time sensitive due to other teams trying to land The Cyborg that the Cubs agreed without an independent medical exam in Chicago. Instead, the Cubs accepted reports from other physicians.
These facts make me believe that the Cubs and Royals couldn’t agree on a multi-player deal. With other teams pursuing Davis, the teams then agreed get a Davis/Soler deal done first before complicating matters with other players.
Reading between the lines, it seems that the Cubbies and KC Royals might have interest in players on each other’s roster. Just who could those unnamed players be? And, are the Cubs and Royals likely to work out another deal?
One hot rumor during the Winter Meetings was that the Cardinals and Dodgers were talking about swaps that involved a Lorenzo Cain/Wade Davis package. Given the quality of the Kansas City players involved, that would shape up as a mega-deal. Could the Cubs also have been interested in Lorenzo Cain?
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Cain would make sense for the Cubs. Right now, Abraham Almonte sits atop Chicago’s depth chart in center-field. While he’s a high quality prospect, the Cubs probably want a veteran anchor in the middle of their outfield defense. After all, Chicago is a team with aspirations to repeat.
Lorenzo Cain would be a big get for the Chicago Cubs. Talk about a loaded lineup!
What Could The Royals Get For Cain?
The problem is that the Kansas City Royals would only consider trading Cain if they get back players who can help them in the major-leagues in 2017. If I were Moore, I’d ask for Kyle Schwarber. But, I doubt the Cubs would let a dynamic power bat like that go after trading Soler. Not in deal that would surrender five years of Schwarber for one of Cain.
Could the KC Royals be interested in 24-year-old second baseman Javier Baez. Baez was once rated among the top 10 prospects in baseball by Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus before the 2014 season. He’s a plus defender with pop. Baez slashed a solid .273/.314/.423 in 2016 with 14 home runs and 59 RBIs.
Obtaining Baez would allow the Royals to use Whit Merrifield as a super-sub. Jarrod Dyson and Paulo Orlando would then platoon in center in place of Cain. Kansas City would have to see Baez’ pop at second as an upgrade over any of the second base options currently on the roster (Cheslor Cuthbert, Whit Merrifield, and Christian Colon).
What makes Baez potentially available is that Ben Zobrist could take over at second, which would open left field for Schwarber. As the Cubs depth chart stands now, Schwarber is a bench player. Behind Baez, the Cubs have no. 1 prospect Ian Happ developing in the minors. Happ will likely be ready for a major-league trial in 2017.
Along with Baez, the KC Royals could ask for near-MLB ready relievers like Jose Rosario and Felix Pena. However, I think the Cubs will still balk at five years of Baez for one year of Cain. Plus, I don’t see how Kansas City can balance the trade with prospects. The Cubs already have more than will ever play at Wrigley.
What About Ben Zobrist?
Another solution would be to send Ben Zobrist back to Kansas City. But, the only way that idea would work is if the Cubs were willing to eat some salary. Zobrist is making $16.5 million next season while Cain is signed for $11 million. The Kansas City Royals want to cut salary, not add it. Zobrist is also guaranteed $16.5 million in 2018 and $12.5 million in 2019.
In the end, another Cubs and Royals deal could happen. But, both front offices will have to work through a lot of issues.