Did you know that the Royals have yet to score more than six runs in a game this season? I didn’t, either, before I came across Bradford Doolittle’s piece in the Kansas City Star. While the team has seen some quality performances from the pitching staff, their offense is in a rut. Lucky for them, there are two guys waiting by the phone right now who could provide instant upgrades: Frank Thomas and Barry Bonds.
Thomas could definitely fit into the picture. Ross Gload is okay, but certainly not a lock as a regular. The only problem here is that if you replace Gload with Thomas, you have to move Billy Butler out to first base. Yeah, there are more disastrous spots for him out there — I recall Baseball Prospectus’s Kevin Goldstein telling a less than flattering story of Butler’s outfield skills. He can’t be much worse than Jason Giambi out there, so it’s worth a shot.
The crazy thing is that Bonds could fit in, too. The only obstacle is Jose Guillen’s contract. The newly-signed right fielder is hitting .173/.205/.307, while having the most at bats on the team. I know the season is young, but this can become a problem. It’s not like Guillen was a superstar coming in. It’s just that there’s no way the Royals can rid themselves of him — that is, even if they wanted to.
But if Dayton Moore slid Mark Teahen back to right and signed Bonds, he might be creating a decent situation. Bonds can’t play left all the time, but when he can’t, you can get Joey Gathright to play out there (with David DeJesus manning CF full-time). Bonds can DH to give Thomas days off. And Gload can fill in for Butler when needed.
No, it’s not an ideal solution. You’d be bringing in one defensive liability in Bonds, and creating another one by signing Thomas. However, if the Royals think they can compete this year, they’re going to need an offensive upgrade. Nabbing Frank Thomas seems like a logical move, then.