If Houston calls, Dayton Moore should answer

So, the guys on MLB Network seem to think that Salvador Perez and maybe Whit Merrifield would be a great fit in a trade with the Houston Astros. I am here to tell you that it would take a king’s ransom to pull off that trade for Houston, they could very easily afford it, and that it feels very unlikely to happen.

HOWEVER. This is absolutely something that Royals GM Dayton Moore should be digging into. The Houston Astros have a very deep farm system and I would be thrilled to see KC try to plunder it. Here are some thoughts about a potential swap with the Houston Astros.

Analytics

The Houston Astros may be the single most analytical team in baseball. I say may be because there is no good way to actually rank them. The point is that they care about analytics, a lot. Salvador Perez is like the anti-analytic god. He doesn’t walk much, and he doesn’t frame pitches very well at all. What he does have however is an immense amount of respect from his peers around the game, a World Series MVP, a 25+ HR bat, and Gold Glove defense. In an age of harboring prospects, I’m not sure that the Royals and Astros would see eye-to-eye on the value of Salvy, and that could create a disconnect on his perceived prospect value in any trade between KC and Houston.

Dayton Moore

https://twitter.com/kent_swanson/status/1067290875817091072

This, folks, is the right question. Okay so, it’s not actually the “right” question, but it’s along the right line of thinking. I am 99% sure that Dayton Moore is aware that players decline with age. I am confident that Dayton Moore knows that he will have better options behind the plate at his disposal than Salvador Perez the next time the Royals are ready to make a playoff run. Here’s the thing…

I am also 99% sure that he does not care. Dayton Moore has preached the importance of having a team that is competitive every single season and having guys like Salvador Perez on the team and in the community that kids can look up to. Salvador Perez might be the 2nd most popular person in Kansas City behind Patrick Mahomes, and I can’t imagine the Royals trading him without a king’s ransom in return, if at all.

All of those things apply to Whit Merrifield as well. I genuinely feel that Dayton Moore cares more about being respectable in 2019 than he does about loading up prospects for a run in 2021-2022. Present vs. Future will certainly be at the forefront of the debate on whether or not Salvy and Whit will be traded this off-season.

The Return

Okay, so Dayton decides he’s going to pull the trigger and trade Salvy and/or Whit to the Houston Astros (who by the way make some sense for Danny Duffy as well, and there were rumors of the Astros being interested last summer). So, what kind of return would the Royals be looking at if they traded one or both of their stars to the Houston Astros?

Just Salvador Perez:

Astros get:

  • Salvador Perez, C
  • $3M/year

Royals get:

  • RHP Corbin Martin, Astros #4, #73 in baseball according to Baseball America
  • LHP Cionel Perez, Astros #10
  • OF Ronnie Dawson
  • C Garrett Stubbs

Corbin Martin would be the big get in this potential return. Martin is a potential front of the rotation starter that could be ready to fill into a big league rotation in 2020. The 22-year old pitched to a 2.97 ERA in AA in 2018, and should advance quickly to the big leagues.

Cionel Perez is a huge upside arm with MLB experience that probably needs another season’s worth of starts in the minor leagues. The strike out numbers for this 22-year old were really impressive in 2018 and he’s another guy that could slide into the front of your big league rotation in 2020.

Ronnie Dawson is an OF with some upside that would be a decent flier. He would potentially start the season in AA and give the Royals another upside bat along Khalil Lee and Nick Heath, among others.

Garrett Stubbs replaces Salvy until one of the young catching prospects of the future is ready to roll. Stubbs and Gallagher would be just fine for a couple of years until someone like Xavier Fernandez, Meibrys Viloria, MJ Melendez, or Sebastian Rivero was ready to roll.

Just Whit Merrifield:

Astros get:

  • Whit Merrifield

Royals get:

  • OF Myles Straw
  • LHP Cionel Perez

Myles Straw walks a lot and stole 72 bases in 2018. He’s 24 and big league ready. He doesn’t hit a ton, but he’d be on base enough to wreak havoc on the base paths and offer some defensive value for KC.

Both Whit and Salvy:

Astros get:

  • Whit Merrifield
  • Salvador Perez
  • $5M/year

Royals get:

  • OF Yordan Alvarez; Astros #3, #33 in baseball according to BA
  • RHP Corbin Martin; Astros #4, #73 in baseball
  • LHP Cionel Perez; Astros #10
  • C Garrett Stubbs

Yordan Alvarez would be a huge upgrade for the Royals system, and instantly become their top prospect. The 21-year old hit 20 HR between AA and AAA in 2018, and with Kyle Tucker appearing to be the next man up in the big league outfield, I think there’s an opportunity for KC to capitalize here. It would take both Whit and Salvy to pull Alvarez off, but a trade like this pushes the Royals timeline forward an entire season. Martin and Perez would be ready by 2020 and Alvarez could probably get some big league AB’s by 2019.

Conclusion

That’s what I think it would take for Houston to get Whit and Salvy from Kansas City. The problem is, I don’t know that Houston pulls the trigger. I am very confident that Kansas City doesn’t pull the trigger for less, however, which is probably the downfall to the deal. As much sense as Whit Merrifield and Salvador Perez make to the Houston Astros, I’m not sure that I buy the two being good trade partners. Am I rooting for something like this to happen? Absolutely. Am I under the impression that it gets done? Absolutely not. The Astros seem like they’d be better off re-signing Marwin Gonzalez and picking up Yasmani Grandal in free agency, and keeping their prospects. However, if something were to happen, Dayton Moore needs to be willing to listen to an offer from the 2017 World Champs.

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3 thoughts on “If Houston calls, Dayton Moore should answer

  1. All arms and outfielders in those deals and there isn’t a starting 3rd sacker in the system. IF DM trades Salvy and or Whit, big if, I would hope we’d see someone who can play 3rd coming back even if it is a A or AA prospect.

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  2. Pingback: The Problem with Trading Whit Merrifield | Royals Farm Report

  3. Of all the trade ideas I’ve heard for Merrifield this has to be the dumbest. How many good speed/no hit, unproven outfielders do we really need on the roster?

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