The Kansas City Royals still have some very important questions to answer before Spring Training begins next season. One of the more pressing is whether or not KC can bring in a bat through trade or free agency. I’ve been trying to slam the point home that AL teams need power to succeed, so bringing in some pop is clearly the Royals’ biggest concern now.
Especially after the Royals found their free agent reliever with the Jason Vargas signing, offense has jumped to the top of the priorities list. Before getting into the specifics of KC’s options for upgrading, let’s take a look at how the positions looks with the current team. Could the Royals already have what they need on their roster?
If the Royals trade for Dexter Fowler, whether it be by moving Wade Davis, Tim Collins or Aaron Crow, the outfield would be crowded but improved. This would leave the second base slot open as the last option for upgrading KC’s lineup. As it stands, Emilio Bonifacio would start on Opening Day, and that’s not necessarily a problem. Bonifaco provided consistent production with the bat last year, albeit usually by means of singles and speed. Bonifacio can play several positions effectively, so KC could wind up using him in a utility role.
If that happens, Christian Colon may be the team’s best bet at second base. In 138 games at the Triple-A level, Colon batted .276 with 13 homers, 13 doubles and 63 RBI. Colon’s defense would be a plus when paired with Alcides Escobar at short, but that marginal offensive success is not enough to help the Royals win next season. Other options include Chris Getz and Johnny Giavotella. Getz won’t have any more offensive impact than Colon would, and Gio has yet to prove himself after multiple chances at the MLB level.
Kansas City still needs to make a big move to start the upcoming season as a better team on paper than they were in 2014. Due to the offensive weakness at second base, this position should quickly become the team’s biggest priority, especially if KC trades for Fowler.