For years, Mike Sweeney may have been the only Royal a casual fan was able to name. Gil Meche, Alex Gordon, and others are changing that these days. Sweeney is on his last leg, finally reaching the contract year of his painful five-year, $55MM deal. (I’m surprised the Royals didn’t do 5/54 with Meche just to block out the Sweeney contract).
Sweeney is earning $11MM this year to DH for the Royals. This time around, he’s all about yoga and the health vibe remains positive. It’s all his back. He’s spent about 30% of the last three seasons on the disabled list. I’m sure the Royals would love to keep him relatively healthy and effective leading up to the break and send him packing. There was some talk of the Angels acquiring him in seasons past but it never went too far, mostly because the Royals were asking for too much.
Let’s say Sweeney was a free agent this year instead of next. I think the most he could command is $4MM guaranteed as someone’s DH. That would make him worth $2MM tops at the deadline, so the Royals would have to eat $9MM. Might be worth it to allow Billy Butler (BA’s #25 prospect) a half-season trial in the bigs and get a prospect back. Of course, the more likely scenario is that Butler is granted his chance when Sweeney hits the DL.
Tim’s take: Chance of a midseason trade of Mike Sweeney – 20%.