General Manager Dayton Moore has voiced his frustration with the free agent market and recently has been mentioned increasingly in trade rumors for outfielders. Over the weekend came word of discussion with the Marlins over Marcell Ozuna and with the Reds over Todd Frazier, who would be moved to left-field if he were traded to Kansas City. Today, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported that the Royals have had discussions with the Colorado Rockies about their outfielders.
In the meantime, the Royals are weighing their options. Plan B is most likely a trade, and the Rockies are a natural fit. If the Royals want to shoot the moon, they can deal for Gonzalez and take a major bite out of their prospect pipeline. Or Royals GM Dayton Moore can downsize his ambitions and make a run at Blackmon or Dickerson. Either one of those players wouldn't require Kansas City to part with prospects Raul Mondesi and/or Miguel Almonte, who would likely be part of the package in a CarGo deal.
If the Royals can't sign Gordon or make a trade, their attention will probably shift to Span, Parra or Fowler.
The 30-year old Carlos Gonzalez has the most proven track record but also comes with the highest price tag. The left-handed hitter smacked 40 home runs and drove in 97 with a line of .271/.325/.540. He is a two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner. He is a much better hitter at Coors Field, hitting just 243/.294/.464 on the road with 16 home runs. Carlos Gonzalez has a track record of injury. Last year was his first with over 140 games since 2010. He is under contract for two more years, but will make $17 million this year and $20 million in 2017. The Royals would likely require the Rockies eat some of that money, but that would require the Royals include a better prospect.
Charlie Blackmon is a 28-year old lefty bat who hit .287/.347/.450 with 17 HR 58 RBI. He was an All-Star in 2014, but has struggled mightily away from Coors Field, hitting .241/.283/.370 in his career on the road. Blackmon is arbitration-eligible for the first time and is estimated to make $4.5 million next year. Blackmon can play center- or right-field.
Corey Dickerson is a 26-year old lefty bat who hit .304/.333/.536 in 65 games last year. He missed more than two months last season with broken ribs. Dickerson plays primarily left field and hit 24 home runs last year while hitting .312/.364/.567. Dickerson has also struggled on the road, hitting .249/.286/.410 in his career. Dickerson won't be eligible for arbitration until next year, so he is cheap and under club control for several seasons.
Crasnick also reports Alex Gordon is in line to get a five-year contract between $75-80 million, but seems doubtful the Royals will be the team that gives it to him.