I’ve already written about the possibility of the Kansas City Royals trading Wade Davis for Dexter Fowler, but Davis isn’t the only option KC has for trade negotiations. The Royals had MLB‘s second-best bullpen last year, and after the recent Jason Vargas signing, they’ll expect to eat even more innings with their starting pitching in 2014.
This makes many of the relievers in KC’s pen, even those with legitimate talent, available for trade. Among them are left-handed curveball specialist Tim Collins and former MU phenom, Aaron Crow.
Collins and Crow have a lot in common in this situation. Both Crow and Collins were made “very available” for trade negotiations by the Royals earlier this month. A Royals official told MLBTradeRumors.com that these are both guys that KC would consider trading because they’re about to start making legitimate money. Both of them are heading into their first year of being arbitration eligible. Collins should earn $1 million, and Crow is projected to earn $1.9.
Both relievers have serious potential, but both are coming off a down year. Collins posted a 3.54 ERA in 53.1 innings, giving up just three HRs and posting a 8.8. K/9. His ERA was only marginally lower in 2012, but he threw 16.1 more innings and had an impressive 12.01 K/9.
Aaron Crow pitched 48 innings in relief last year with a 3.38 ERA. He actually reduced his ERA slightly from the prior season, but his strikeout to walk ratio went from 2.95 to an even 2.00. His HR/9 ratio also increased from 0.6 to 1.1.
So, who would KC rather part with to put Fowler in powder blue next year? Many believe Crow still has potential as a future starter, but Collins has the raw junk that can make him a valuable fireman and strikeout specialist. It’s a close call, but I would rather lose Crow than Collins at this point.
My heart says not to trade either and instead get rid of Davis and his large contract. This may just be because I watched Crow and Collins develop into what they are today, and Davis is the relative new guy. Nonetheless, while it would be a shame to see either of these relievers go on to achieve greatness elsewhere, the Royals are right to make them available. Trading either one in return for Fowler would be a step in the right direction.