The Royals have received multiple trade inquiries on fleet-footed right fielder Jarrod Dyson, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links). As is the case with teammates Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Alcides Escobar and Wade Davis, Dyson is a free agent following the 2017 season, so the Royals could conceivably feel compelled to part with him this offseason if they receive a solid return.
The problem, as Crasnick notes, is that Kansas City would probably need to add another right field option in his place, as Dyson currently projects as part of a platoon with Paulo Orlando in right field, and Orlando is best limited to facing left-handed pitchers. Given the number of corner options on the market, though, it’s certainly plausible that the Royals could move Dyson and add an affordable platoon partner for Orlando on a one-year deal.
Dyson, 32, is projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn a modest $2.5MM in 2017, so the scenario I just laid would probably result in Kansas City’s payroll rising a bit, unless they waited out the market and inked a left-handed-hitting veteran to a minor league deal. But, that $2.5MM figure also undoubtedly makes Dyson appealing to other teams. The lifetime Royal batted .278/.340/.388 last season, and while he offers next to no power, he’s a blistering baserunner that has averaged 31 steals per season over the past five years despite averaging just 284 plate appearances per season in that time. His wheels play well on the defensive side of the coin as well; Dyson received a +11 rating from Defensive Runs Saved in the outfield last year and +16.7 from Ultimate Zone Rating. He’s capable of playing all three outfield positions.
Dyson does have his shortcomings. In addition to the aforementioned lack of power — he has just seven career homers in 550 games — he’s also batted just .231/.305/.285 in his career against lefties, suggesting that he should continue to be platooned. Dyson’s speed, defense and affordable nature would make him an attractive target for any team looking for an upgrade at any of the three outfield spots, however, provided they can find a right-handed bat to complement him.