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Monday, January 23, 2023

Sources: Twins acquiring Michael A. Taylor in trade with Royals

The Minnesota Twins are acquiring outfielder Michael A. Taylor in a trade with the Kansas City Royals, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan and Kiley McDaniel on Monday.

An elite defensive center fielder and former Gold Glove Award winner, Taylor batted .254 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs with a .670 OPS in 2022.

Taylor, who turns 32 in March, is entering his 10th major league season. He played the first seven years of his career in Washington, where he won a World Series with the Nationals in 2019, before signing with Kansas City during the 2020 offseason.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 23, 2023 at 08:11 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: michael taylor, royals, twins

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: January 23, 2023 at 08:42 PM (#6114097)
It's almost as if they are uncertain that Buxton will play an entire season!
   2. sunday silence (again) Posted: January 23, 2023 at 09:18 PM (#6114113)
I thought you were logging in to tell us that we cant believe his defensive metrics.
   3. Zach Posted: January 23, 2023 at 10:24 PM (#6114118)
Royals are finally getting their roster straightened out.

Taylor's a quality player, but he's older, offensively limited, and the Royals have a numbers crunch in the outfield. And a free agent, so he's out of town after this year anyway.

He needs to be a puzzle piece for a contender, not a stretched 4th outfielder for KC.
   4. jingoist Posted: January 23, 2023 at 11:16 PM (#6114129)
Reading Zach’s note above it struck me that he was finally getting old; he’ll be 32 by opening day.
The Nationals gave this guy every, and I mean every, chance to be their everyday CF but he could never hit consistently enough to become the guy.
When he hit 19 HRs in 2018, we all hoped “finally”.
But nope.
Too many bad swings at balls out of his best hitting zones.
He won a WS with the Nats in 2019 but by then he’d been replaced by Victor Robles who could field almost as good as Michael A and seemingly hit for a better average.
Well, like Michael, not so much.
Anyway, some of us were happy to see the Royals give him a shot 2 years ago.
Curiously, he has 8+ defensive WAR and only 2.5 offensive WAR for his career.
Career defensive CF.
I wish him luck as he seemed open-minded about trying different hitting approaches, yet never seemed to become proficient.
   5. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: January 24, 2023 at 11:57 AM (#6114188)
The all time leader in world series OPS!
   6. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: January 24, 2023 at 01:35 PM (#6114199)
not sure if mondesi for taylor should be discussed here or in the boston thread.

acquiring / trading away mondesi makes sense to me. he's a very good defender/runner who has no place in kc and boston needs a fill in response (and i think he has enough ceiling to be worth a try out).
i'm not sure why josh taylor, a solid if unspectacular lefty reliever, is the return. why is this who kc asked for (if they did)? go for cheap controllable fliers (like flamethrowing but not that good steven cruz or extreme loogy evan sisk (note: neither is a guy i probably actually spend resources to acquire) who they got for taylor) if you want relievers. or go for position players - salem has several interesting utility infielders, go for one of them (for example).

as for the red sox, i maybe would have held on taylor? i dunno...
   7. DCA Posted: January 24, 2023 at 01:42 PM (#6114201)
Why Josh Taylor?

I suspect KC wants to not suck, as a baseline for future improvement, and they don't have any relievers other than Barlow who can be counted on to not suck. Or even who are particularly likely to not suck. If Taylor's healthy, he might be the Royals' second-best reliever, and he's got 3 years of control at a reasonable price.

For the Red Sox to give up. A team with resources can find good middle relievers. They need Mondesi more than any particular one.
   8. DL from MN Posted: January 24, 2023 at 02:25 PM (#6114207)
Why Josh Taylor?

They probably made up a bunch of Taylor jerseys and didn't want them to go to waste.
   9. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: January 24, 2023 at 03:06 PM (#6114219)
oh i definitely do this deal if i'm boston, i just think a deal that would be better for both teams was possible.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: January 26, 2023 at 04:59 PM (#6114663)
#2: We probably can't but I don't think there's much doubt that he's one of the better defensive CFs out there so a player that almost any team can use, especially given the current shortage of good CFs out there.

The doubts are pretty obvious ones to have. Last year DRS rated him as +19 runs vs the average CF while statcast rated him as +5 vs the average OF. At least one of those has to be pretty badly wrong or they are measuring very different things. Year-by-year (DRS then SC ... that's actually OAA for SC because that's how they report individual results but the out to run conversion is about 1 to 1 for OF):

2017 +12 +11
2018 +14 +9
2019 -1 +2 (very little playing time, I assume he was hurt)
2021 +19 +17
2022 +19 +5

So quite close in 2017 and 2021, small difference in 2018 (probably within measurement error) and a huge difference for 2022. We also have the issue that one compares to average CF and the other to average OF which (from my quick poking around one day) seems to be basically the average RF ... Rpos puts that difference at about 7 runs I think so that's not trivial here. Overall it's 63 vs 44 but if we do need to add 5-7 runs to DRS to put them on the same scale we have a very, very large gap. Of course this statcast measure doesn't include arm while the Rfield measure does so maybe that's part of the difference if somebody wants to dig. FWIW, TZ puts him at +30 (vs average CF I assume) which would be +50-60 in statcast.

All of those numbers are quite good so I'm confident he's quite good. But on a statcast scale we may be talking about +44 (SC) vs +60 (TZ) vs +85-90 (DRS). That's a difference of about half to a full WAR per year or $4-8 AAV on a long-term contract (never a concern for Taylor's teams). But given he's in year 2 of a 2/$9 contract this is a no-brainer for the Twins ... and this Cub fan has to wonder why they didn't just call the Royals rather than pay Bellinger $17.5. If I was the Red Sox, I'd have tried to acquire both Taylor and Mondesi, those were the two biggest holes and it would allow you to move Hernandez around wherever/whenever as long as Mondesi was healthy. (Not that the Red Sox would contend even if they did.)

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