Gore has secured a one-year, MLB pact that comes with a split salary, per MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan (via Twitter). He will earn at a $350K rate in the minors and a $650K rate in the big leagues.
The 27-year-old Gore is a five-year MLB veteran, but has taken just 19 plate appearances at the game’s highest level. While he’s valued for his blistering speed and instincts on the bases and in the field, Gore has a track record of abysmal offensive numbers in the minors.
Given that profile, it’s a bit of a surprise to see the out-of-options Gore occupying a 40-man roster spot for a Royals club that seems to have little hope of near-term contention. That’s all the more true given that the club already added speed demon Billy Hamilton, who is expected to command the bulk of the playing time in center.
When the Royals inked Hamilton, they emphasized the need to cover ground at hitter-friendly Kauffman Stadium, so perhaps there’s a niche for Gore as well if the club decides to take things to an extreme position. (He’d be a platoon match for the left-handed-hitting Hamilton, it’s worth noting.) Certainly, the K.C. team knows him as well as anyone, having employed him exclusively since 2011, excepting a late-2018 run with the Cubs. If Gore does ultimately end up on the big league roster, he’ll pair with Hamilton, Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesi to give manager Ned Yost a fleet-footed quartet that is unparalleled in terms of raw speed and baserunning ability.
As for Herrera, 26, he’s capable of lining up just about anywhere defensively, but hasn’t generally shown much with the bat. He slashed .234/.286/.317 in his first 302 MLB plate appearances last year. That said, Herrera has at times exhibited promising plate discipline as well as speed and even some power (16 home runs in 2013), so it’s still possible he’ll put some things together and emerge as a worthwhile MLB performer.