The Royals were reportedly rejected by the Twins in a proposed trade for pitcher Josh Winder in exchange for Royals outfielder Michael A. Taylor, according to Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
The 26-year-old Winder made his MLB debut last year, making 11 starts and posting a 4.70 ERA and 4.87 FIP in 67 innings. The former VMI pitcher had a low strikeout rate, but a low walk rate as well, as the Royals seek to improve upon their league-worst walk rate. He was ranked as the sixth-best prospect in the Twins organization before the year. He would have six full years of service time left.
Hayes reports the Twins checked in on Taylor as a backup outfielder but “were discouraged” when the Royals asked for Winder in return. He also reports the Twins looked into Ramón Laureano of the Athletics, but did not get the sense he was available. Minnesota will start centerfielder Byron Buxton in center, but wanted a backup as insurance in case the oft-injured All-Star misses time.
Taylor, who turns 32 in March, is entering the last year of his contract that will pay him $4.5 million this year. He was one of the best defenders in baseball last year, and got off to a good start offensively only to slump in the second half and hit .254/.313/.57 with nine home runs.