HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 23: Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff #15 of the Colorado Rockies fields a hard hit ball by Chris Johnson #23 of the Houston Astros in the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park on September 23, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Houston won 11-2. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Chris Truby. Josh Fields. Pedro Feliz. Every year the Royals bring in a veteran third baseman for seemingly no reason other than to give Omaha fans something to cheer about. This year, that man is Kevin Kouzmanoff. The Royals signed the 30 year old third baseman to a minor league deal early Saturday morning. Kouzmanoff will make $1 million in Schrute Bucks if he is on the MLB roster, with incentives reaching up to $1.3 million. He also has an opt-out if he is not on the MLB roster by May 1.
Kouzmanoff seemed promising once upon a time when he mashed in the Indians organization. He was dealt to the Padres for second baseman Josh Barfield in a challenge trade of promising prospects. As Barfield was busting, Kouzmanoff was proving to be a league average third baseman in San Diego. Then he was dealt to Oakland, where hitting careers go to die. He posted a .666 OPS in a season and a half in Oakland before being let go and latching on with Colorado. Overall he hit .235/.284/.372 last year in 257 PAs.
Kouzmanoff gives Moustakas some competition and provides some insurance should Moose be totally overwhelmed by Major League algebra problems.
We cannot have enough depth. Those intra-squad games played in Arizona in February are what is key to post-season drives.