KANSAS CITY -- Just a few hours after the Royals acquired promising slugger Peter O'Brien on Tuesday to possibly compete for their designated hitter role, a report surfaced in USA Today that the club might also be interested in Cardinals left-handed hitter Matt Adams.As is their practice, the Royals do
KANSAS CITY -- Just a few hours after the Royals acquired promising slugger Peter O'Brien on Tuesday to possibly compete for their designated hitter role, a report surfaced in USA Today that the club might also be interested in Cardinals left-handed hitter Matt Adams.
As is their practice, the Royals do not confirm or deny trade rumors. But the club's scouts have been intrigued by Adams' power in the past.
Would an Adams acquisition make any sense? Perhaps. Let's weigh the pros and cons.
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PRO: The Royals do have a gaping hole to fill at DH after Kendrys Morales (52 homers, 199 RBIs the past two seasons) signed with the Blue Jays. And O'Brien, though filled with potential, has 79 big-league plate appearances, and he likely isn't much more than organizational depth at present.
Adams, however, has played in parts of five Major League seasons and is coming off a 16-homer campaign with a respectable .780 OPS.
Adams wasn't intimidated by left-handed pitching last season (.822 OPS) and perhaps could slide easily into the full-time role. An Adams acquisition also could make sense financially: He is projected to make about $2.8 million through arbitration, which fits into the Royals' tight budget for 2017 -- especially if they offered up someone like Jarrod Dyson ($2.5 million projected arbitration) in a trade. The Royals need to maintain their present payroll of about $140 million and a deal like this would accomplish that with also adding power.
CON: One of the appealing aspects of O'Brien for the Royals is that he is right-handed and the club desperately is trying to find more right-handed power. With a lineup featuring Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon from the left side, adding another left-handed bat isn't a priority.
Also, adding someone like Adams probably would squeeze Cheslor Cuthbert into no-man's land on the roster. The Royals have hyped the idea of a floating DH this season primarily because Cuthbert, who filled in for Moustakas at third in 2016, has no position and is out of options.
Also, is Adams really that much of an offensive upgrade over Cuthbert, who hit .274 with 12 homers last season? As an overall hitter, Cuthbert, 24, could project better in the long term than Adams, who is going on 29.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.