The Kansas City Royals have ripped off the band-aid and worked out a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jon Jay is headed west. Who is heading back to the Royals?
The Arizona Diamondbacks added an outfielder to their mix on Wednesday by trading for veteran journeyman Jon Jay. The pieces headed to Kansas City are prospects Gabe Speier and Elvis Luciano. Of the two, only 18-year-old Luciano is ranked in MLB Pipeline’s Royals top 30.
He was the 26th prospect on that list and posted a 2.84 ERA across three rookie ball teams in 2017. He has not pitched so far this season.
Luciano signed for just $85K out of the Dominican Republic but has put himself on the map with his rookie ball performance. He touches the mid 90’s, and it is believed he can build up to working in that range as he matures. The 6’2″ right-hander has a good feel for pitching when on the mound.
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Gabe Speier has pitched for three teams in his career. The 23 year old started with the Boston Red Sox in 2013 after being drafted in the 19th round that June. He has also appeared for affiliates of the Detroit Tigers and then the Diamondbacks.
He was repeating AA with the Jackson Generals, having improved his ERA from 4.30 to 3.03. Speier pitched for four teams in 2016, posting a 2.62 ERA.
The other side of the coin…
For their part in the deal, the Arizona Diamondbacks are getting a solid league average bat with roughly average defense in Jon Jay. He has a 104 wRC+ in 59 games this season, including 1 HR and 3 SB. The 33-year-old can play all three outfield positions.
He has generally posted a solid OBP throughout his career. This will be the fifth team that Jay has played for. And it will be his second time in the N.L. West.
This may be the signal that the rest of MLB has been waiting for that the Kansas City Royals have opened up for business. The big prize they have to dangle is Mike Moustakas.
Moose has picked up right where he left off in 2017. With a 116 wRC+ and 12 HR in 60 games, the 29-year-old third baseman figures to bring back the biggest haul of any Royals player likely to be traded.
What do you think? Will Moustakas be next? Where will he go? And what kind of return can he fetch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!