The Royals have signed 29-year old outfielder Michael A. Taylor to a one-year, $1.75 million deal according to MLB.com reporter Mark Feinsand. The outfielder had spent the last seven seasons with the Washington Nationals, hitting .237/.291/.395. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the Royals designated pitcher Foster Griffin for assignment.
Taylor was a sixth-round pick by the Nationals in 2009 out of Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He made his debut in 2014 and hit .229/.282/.358 with 14 home runs and 16 steals in 511 plate appearances his first full season. He has been a reserve outfielder since then, hitting a career high 19 home runs with an .806 OPS in 2017.
The right-handed hitter spent much of the 2019 season in the minor leagues, appearing just 53 games with the Nationals, although he was on the post-season roster, appearing in eight games and hitting a home run in Game 2 of the World Series against the Astros. This year, he appeared in 38 games, hitting .196/.253/.424 with five home runs in 99 plate appearances.
Taylor has a decent power/speed combination capable of hitting 15-20 home runs and stealing 20-30 bases if he gets regular playing time. But he also hits for a very low average, does not walk much, and has struck out over 31 percent of the time at the big league level. Taylor has been a very good defender, spending much of his time in centerfield. The Nationals outrighted him off the roster in October, and he cleared waivers and elected free agency.
Foster Griffin appeared in one game for the Royals, but will miss the entire 2021 season following Tommy John surgery.