Keys to the Royals Off-Season: Trade Off the Fat

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

What could the Royals bring back in return for Holland and Butler?

Each off-season, I look to see how the Royals management handles a few situations. So far, I looked at the eight possible starters and which players should be cut for their uselessness. Today, I am going to look at the excess commodities the Royals should look at trading off. The team has an excess of relievers which could bring back some pieces. Additionally, I think the team should consider offers for Billy Butler.

Too Many Relievers

Going into 2014, the Royals have too many good short relief pitchers. Here is a list of them with their 2014 Steamer Projections.

I included the pitchers career vs. LH and RH FIP values and the ratio of the larger to the smaller. It helps to determine if the pitcher can get out both handed batters or will simply be a LOOGY (Will Smith) or ROOGY (Aaron Crow).

Name Throws Salary (M) Age WHIP SV K/9 K% BB/9 BB% HR/9 BABIP ERA FIP FIP vs L FIP vs R Ratio of Split
Greg Holland R 4.5 28 1.07 28 12.3 34% 3.5 10% 0.65 0.296 2.29 2.47 1.98 2.25 1.1
Kelvin Herrera R 0.6 24 1.13 0 10.2 28% 3.2 9% 0.60 0.296 2.51 2.82 3.44 3.95 1.1
Luke Hochevar R 5.8 30 1.13 2 8.7 24% 2.3 6% 0.78 0.297 2.79 3.14 4.38 3.94 1.1
Louis Coleman R
28 1.24 0 9.4 25% 3.8 10% 1.04 0.285 3.06 3.81 4.77 3.34 1.4
Aaron Crow R 2.7 27 1.29 6 8.8 23% 3.9 10% 0.65 0.299 3.29 3.42 4.66 3.10 1.5
Tim Collins L 1.75 24 1.33 3 9.8 25% 4.7 12% 0.85 0.291 3.41 3.77 4.38 3.28 1.3
Michael Mariot R
25 1.37 1 6.5 18% 3.4 10% 0.94 0.296 3.92 4.21

Francisley Bueno L
33 1.40 0 6.1 16% 3.5 9% 0.86 0.297 3.98 4.22 2.87 3.66 1.3
Donnie Joseph L
26 1.48 0 9.3 23% 5.7 15% 0.83 0.295 3.98 4.22 1.55 2.57 1.7
Will Smith L
24 1.32 0 6.8 18% 3.2 8% 0.91 0.297 4.02 3.99 2.85 4.60 1.6
Buddy Baumann L
26 1.45 1 7.6 21% 4.7 13% 0.88 0.295 4.03 4.35

Wade Davis L 4.8 28 1.36 0 6.9 18% 3.6 9% 0.97 0.293 4.07 4.23 4.28 4.23 1.0
Chris Dwyer L
26 1.49 0 6.2 17% 4.4 12% 0.94 0.295 4.32 4.60 1.55 3.65 2.4

One great, some good, some only able to get out one hand of hitter.

With the glut of relievers, the Royals should look at trading off some as long as the team achieves at least one of the following goals.

1. Relieve Salary - The Royals are looking at spending 12.5M for the trio of Crow, Hochevar and Davis. Hochevar and Davis have been good while in the bullpen over the past two season. Additionally, the pair have shown the ability over their careers to get out both RH and LH hitters.

2. Get Younger - The average age nest season off all the pitchers listed is just under 27-years-old. Pitchers begin to decline at age 25 and really head down hill at age 30. While the bullpen's age will probably not be a factor in 2014, it will be soon. The team needs to start working some younger pitchers into the bullpen mix. Also by going younger, the bullpen will be cheaper (see goal 1).

3. Get someone(s) useful back in return - The team needs help so try to get someone back even if it will hurt a bit. The one trading chip which would bring back the best return would be Greg Holland. His trade value will never be higher. The longer the Royals hold onto him his value plummets as he gets closer to free agency. By moving Holland, all three goals are achieved, $4.5M in salary comes off the books, a 28-year-old moved and a proven good closer could bring back much needed 2B or RF help.

I am not sure all the above can be done, but at least one goal needs to be accomplished with each trade. A move I don't want to see Dayton Moore make is trading Herrera. The team gets no salary relief, the bullpen on average gets older and by himself, he is not going to bring back much.

Too much Billy Butler

I like Billy Butler and his production, but I wondering if it is time for him and Royals to part ways. With Butler's and Hosmer's inability to play any other position on the field, the DH and 1B spots are locked up. With Butler gone, the DH position could still productive and allow the team a little more roster flexibility. For example, Kottaras could hit against RHP and there wouldn't be much of a drop off from Butler

Name: Career wOBA vs RHP
Butler: .344
Kottaras: .326

Whenever a player needs a break from the field or nursing an injury, they could still DH. Going into the season without an official DH would require the team to platoon (please Ned, figure out this concept).

An above average hitter could bring back a decent return on the market. I don't know exactly what Moore would get in return, but there is a good chance he could get a RF.

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