3 Texas Rangers trade proposals with the Kansas City Royals

Chris Bachman
Apr 4, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals shortstop Nicky Lopez (8) throws to first base after forcing out Texas Rangers third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa (9) during the third inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 4, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals shortstop Nicky Lopez (8) throws to first base after forcing out Texas Rangers third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa (9) during the third inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 16, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield (15) gets ready to bat against the Oakland Athletics during the seventh inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 16, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield (15) gets ready to bat against the Oakland Athletics during the seventh inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

3 Texas Rangers trades with the Kansas City Royals

What’s a speculative Kansas City Royals trade proposal without their most speculated player!

That player is Whit Merrifield.

A Royals fan favorite, a personal favorite, and a baseball-playing machine, Merrifield seems to be available for trade for the first time. Consider this a warning label for Royals fans…I’m constructing trade for his actual baseball value. He is not Mike Trout or even a top 10, 20, 30….(I’ll spare you) player. In fact, Bleacher Report had him outside their top 100 players of 2021. Merrifield, by conventional measures, has declined for three consecutive years now.

He has gone from hitting .302 with 16 home runs in 2019 to .277 with 10 home runs in 2021. At age 33, His value has taken a dive with that performance but he is still a very valuable trade piece. If he is truly available, there will be a dozen teams in the running for him and the price will still be high.

This is still quite a haul at first glance, but it could be worth it.

Merrifield is incredibly durable and capable. He has played EVERY game the past 3 years. He also showed he’s still a base-stealing threat as he lead the league with 40 stolen bases. Stolen bases weren’t the only category he lead the league in as he lead the way with 42 doubles. Remember that tidbit about declining by conventional standards? Well, that’s because when looking at his exit velocity, Hard hit%, Barrel% and Pull% were all in line with career averages.

Instead, the only correlating stat to decline with is conventional numbers is his launch angle, which has gone from 16.9 degrees in 2018 to 14.1 in 2021. He is still very much a potent offensive threat and a capable outfield defender. His presence in the clubhouse to go with Semiens natural leadership would be fantastic for the culture. Let’s not forget that he is also under contract for $2.75 million in ’22 and $6.5 million in ’23 making him even more affordable than long coveted free agent Seiya Suzuki.

Whereas Rangers fans may think we’re giving up too much, Royals fans probably want more. Ronny Henriquez COULD be added to make the deal more enticing, but I believe his current value is lower than where it should be so the Rangers are better off holding onto him.  Merrifield isn’t going to…merit…a top 5 prospect though. Wendzel is about as close to a top 10 prospect as they’ll get to. He fits their need for a young third-base prospect who could come up with their other young players. Taken in the same first round as Josh Jung after sharing Big 12 player of the year honors with him, he hasn’t quite had the same level of success. He has shown promise in 2021 that he could be more than just a 3B prospect and that the power is still there.

Glenn Otto Fit’s the Royals needs as a controllable and projectable starting pitcher. No, he isn’t their next Zack Greinke but he can hold down the back of their rotation for the next 6 years. Hauver meanwhile is a 2B/OF much the same as Merrifield. He has a few more years of development left seeing as he just scratched the surface of High A ball last year. He is a more polished bat though as long as he can manage the strike zone.

Regardless of the result, a Whit Merrifield deal will always have some questions. Some will worry that his decline will continue and he wouldn’t be worth re-signing at the end of ’23. I tend to be more optimistic towards him and could see him fitting in well in both the clubhouse and the field. Royals fans will be unhappy they didn’t net a top 100 player or of that caliber but unfortunately for them, that ship has sailed.

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