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Royals acquire first baseman Ryan McBroom from the Yankees

Could he be the first baseman of the future?

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Atlanta Braves Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals have acquired first baseman Ryan McBroom from the New York Yankees for cash considerations. The 27-year old was hitting .315/.402/.574 with 26 home runs and 58 walks in 117 games for Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. According to Jeffrey Flanagan, McBroom will report straight to the Royals and will be added to the team when rosters expand today.

The Royals originally drafted McBroom in the 36th round out the West Virginia University in 2013, but he returned to the Mountaineers and was selected by the Blue Jays a year later in round 15. He was traded to the Yankees in 2017 for infielder Rob Refsnyder. McBroom has a career walk rate of 7.9 percent, although he enjoyed a career-best 12 percent walk rate this year. He strikes out 25 percent of the time and has a career ISO of .157. A scouting report at 2080 Baseball says McBroom “brings double-plus raw power to the table, and with enough at-bats it could project to average in-game power.” Like many raw power hitters though, he feasts on fastballs and struggles with secondary offerings.

You may be thinking, “wait a minute, I thought the Major League Baseball trade deadline was on July 31?” You would be correct. But there is a loophole - minor league trades are still permitted. McBroom was not on the 40-man roster, so he is eligible to be traded. As Flanagan points out, he is eligible for the Rule 5 draft, so the Royals can get a look at him for a month before deciding if they want to keep him through the off-season.

You may also be thinking, “what’s the big deal about this deal, looks like a Quad-A player to me.” You may very well be right! But there have been quite a few first base-types that were acquired for basically nothing that have turned into fairly productive players:

Freely available talent at first base

Player Team How acquired Age when acquired AVG OBA SLG HR WAR
Player Team How acquired Age when acquired AVG OBA SLG HR WAR
Christian Walker ARI Waivers from the Reds (3/28/2017) 27 .263 .350 .478 24 2.2
Luke Voit NYY Trade for Chasen Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos (7/29/2018) 27 .277 .389 .487 19 1.7
Ji-Man Choi TBR Trade for Brad Miller (6/10/2018) 27 .265 .361 .430 13 1.3
Garrett Cooper MIA Trade for Mike King and international bonus slot money (11/20/2017) 26 .273 .341 .424 12 0.7
Brandon Dixon DET Waivers from the Reds (11/2/2018) 26 .248 .273 .442 14 0.1
Jesus Aguilar MIL/TBR Waivers from the Indians (2/2/2017) 27 .238 .327 .383 10 0.2

McBroom has no Major League service time, so if he pans out, the Royals have his rights for six more years. He is not young enough to be a prospect, but he could be a solid right-handed bat, perhaps a platoon partner for Ryan O’Hearn. The Royals may not have a lot of money to offer players, but they can offer opportunities, and McBroom should get a decent look here as the Royals try to find players that can be part of the future.