Carlos Gonzalez is a three-time All-Star, and was a solid 2 WAR player as recently in 2016, but has received little interest on the free agent market thus far. But the Royals are one of a few teams “believed to be keeping an eye on him” according to ESPN.com writer Jerry Crasnick.
Carlos Gonzalez is flying under the radar, but a lot of teams are interested because he's likely to sign a short-term deal to re-establish his value. #SFGiants, #Royals, #Athletics, #Rays and #BlueJays are among the teams believed to be keeping an eye on him.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 12, 2017
The 32-year old right fielder cratered in 2017, hitting just .262/.339/.423 with 14 home runs in 136 games, and was below replacement level. He was particularly poor against lefties, hitting just .206/.241/.321. However he is not that far removed from a productive season, and could be a decent “buy low” option on a one- or two-year deal.
But how does he fit in with the Royals? The club has Jorge Bonifacio able to play right field. Alex Gordon will presumably play left field unless the club has lost total faith in him or they try him out in centerfield. Brandon Moss and Jorge Soler are options at designated hitter, although Moss could find time at first base if Eric Hosmer is not brought back. Gonzalez was once a Gold Glove winner, but his defensive metrics have declined quite a bit in the last few years.
Gonzalez could be another bat to add into that mix, perhaps as a player the Royals can gamble on to resurrect his value so they can flip him at the deadline. But you are still talking about a player that will likely get around $8-12 million on a one-year deal, likely more than the Royals can afford. The Royals are wise to keep tabs on as many good players as they can, but CarGo doesn’t seem to be a particularly good fit here unless other moves come into place.