More roster changes came for the Kansas City Royals in the form of a 6-foot-6, 260 pound outfielder this Wednesday. Carlos Peguero was signed and added to the 40-man roster this week, but does adding him to the team help the Royals in 2014?
Peguero began his MLB career three seasons ago with the Seattle Mariners. Peguero’s playing time with the Mariners plummeted each year, dropping from 143 at-bats in 2011 to 56 the next year, then down to only six in 2013. In his brief outings at the major league level, Peguero hit eight home runs, all of which came off hanging breaking balls (including one off a James Shields slider in July of last season.) His compiled 205 ABs have yielded a .195 batting average with a .380 slugging percentage and a .622 OPS. Advanced statistics indicate that Peguero struggles with the fastball, which isn’t a great sign for an attempted power hitter.
If the Royals needed a large, struggling, left-handed power hitter in their outfield, they’d teach Mike Moustakas to play in right. I know every team needs depth an additional players who will assumedly never make an impact, but I can’t help but wonder how much David Lough is going to impact the Baltimore Orioles this year.
Peguero, now 26, is not eligible for arbitration yet, but neither is Lough, and there’s no way Peguero will match Lough’s production from last year. During his two seasons and 116 games playing for Kansas City, Lough hit .278 with a .704 OBP and 29 extra-base hits. In 2013, he was paid less than $500,000. Perhaps that’s an unfair comparison, but if Peguero can’t compete to put up similar numbers to Lough’s from last year, why would the Royals spend money/a player to be named later on him?
It’s hard not to wonder why a move like this is even necessary. Peguero makes for the seventh outfielder on the 40-man roster. Not to mention, the four others that are non-roster invitees. Royals GM Dayton Moore says he’s excited about Peguero’s power potential and stated that the struggling outfielder and KC’s hitting coach Pedro Grifol had extensive history together, so maybe I’m wrong.
I still find it hard to see how the acquisition of this failing power hitter justifies the possible loss of a flexible, reliable lefty in Everett Teaford, who was designated for assignment to free up a roster spot for Peguero’s arrival. I would be the first to congratulate Pedro if he can turn this one into an MLB hitter, but as of now it seems like there’s too much to fix.