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Royals Had Curiosity In Luis Arraez Prior To Padres Commerce

The Marlins obtained a surprisingly early leap on the commerce market this offseason, hammering out a uncommon Might commerce of significance after they shipped infielder Luis Arraez to San Diego final Friday in alternate for a package deal of 4 gamers. It’s not fully surprising given each the Marlins’ terrible begin to the season and that their commerce accomplice was the hyper-aggressive Padres, whose president of baseball operations, A.J. Preller, leaves no stone unturned when a big-name participant is even remotely obtainable. Nevertheless, it appears the Padres weren’t the one membership sniffing round Arraez regardless of the early nature of his entry to the commerce market; Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reviews this morning that the Royals additionally confirmed curiosity in Arraez earlier than the Padres pulled off that swap.

Rosenthal emphasizes that talks with the Kansas Metropolis have been preliminary and didn’t advance far. Nonetheless, the mere curiosity from Kansas Metropolis is telling. The Royals had an aggressive winter that noticed them spend $109MM throughout a number of free agent signings, and now that they’re out to a 20-15 begin to the season, it appears they’re excited about additional bolstering the membership.

Arraez is a restricted defender who’s below-average at second base, strong sufficient at first base and naturally has the bat to deal with designated hitter duties. The Royals presumably wouldn’t have used Arraez at first base a lot, because of the presence of Vinnie Pasquantino. In all probability, Kansas Metropolis would’ve given Arraez the majority of his enjoying time at second base and designated hitter.

As an alternative, the Royals will hope for 26-year-old second baseman Michael Massey to proceed his latest sizzling streak and look to get DH/outfielder Nelson Velazquez again to his 2023 kind. Velazquez bashed 14 homers in 147 plate appearances for the Royals final 12 months after being acquired in a deadline swap with the Cubs, however he’s hitting simply .215/.284/.344 with a 30.4% strikeout price this season because the staff’s major designated hitter.

Even wanting past Arraez particularly, the mere undeniable fact that Kansas Metropolis was poking round the marketplace for one of many presumably few gamers genuinely obtainable on the commerce market at such an early stage within the season alerts that the Royals gained’t essentially be content material with their offseason additions and any in-house reinforcements which may floor. It additionally seemingly alerts a willingness to deal from the highest finish of their farm system. The Royals’ system isn’t considered as notably sturdy, so that they’d have needed to expend a few of their most notable prospects in an effort to pique Miami’s curiosity.

In the end, information of curiosity from a staff that didn’t wind up buying and selling for a participant solely carries a lot weight. The Royals’ curiosity in Arraez can be little greater than a footnote that’s maybe price maintaining in thoughts when he reaches free company. Nevertheless it’s additionally a portent for the way the Royals may function within the weeks and months forward, and it provides some credence to the concept they’ll be within the combine when different high-profile bats grow to be obtainable this summer season. Whether or not it was expressed to the Royals that the Marlins can be keen to pay down the rest of Arraez’s contract isn’t clear. Kansas Metropolis opened the season with a roughly $116MM payroll, per RosterResource, and has beforehand run its payroll as excessive as $143MM (underneath the earlier possession regime).

The Royals’ offseason exercise already pointed to a win-now mindset, and as long as they continue to be in or on the periphery of postseason rivalry, it appears they’ll proceed to maintain their foot on the fuel.



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