As we continue “28 players under 28 years old” we take a look at the Red Sox and Royals, so here we go!
Lars Anderson-1st Base- Red Sox
Lars Anderson is the definition of a guy with nowhere to go. Lars is considered an “old” prospect because it seems like he has been around forever. Lars has spent 5 seasons in the minors but is only 23 years old. He is a career .276 hitter with a .370 OBP and smacked 60 homeruns in 5 seasons. Lars is the 87th best prospect in baseball is drawing comparisons to anyone from Lyle Overbay to Mark Grace to Aubrey Huff.
Anderson is definitely available and could be dangled for pitching or an outfielder this season. The Red Sox currently have 3 potential 1st baseman on their roster with A-Gon, Ortiz, and Youkilis so the need for Lars is on the decline. I can see the Cubs wanting to install the young first baseman for the rest of the season to replace Pena when he is traded. Lars fits that need. Even if the Cubs sign Prince to a 5 year deal Lars will be 28 by the time his contract expires which is still very young. Hey, it worked for Gaby Sanchez! I could see the Red Sox targeting a guy like Zambrano, Byrd, Wells, or Fukudome. Trading one of those players straight up for Lars makes a ton of sense for both clubs.
In the end I think this deal makes a lot of sense and I put a 40% chance of this happening.
Billy Butler-1st Base- Royals
This guy can hit and field 1st very well. He recently signed a team friendly contract and at the time he signed it he was considered the face of the franchise. It would be hard to believe they would trade Butler given the previous statement but enter the young gun Eric Hosmer. Hosmer is younger, has more power, and more upside making Billy Butler available to other teams. Butler could fetch a nice return for the Royals and allow them to build up their rotation and middle infield with young talent. Butler signed a 4 year $30M deal earlier this year so if the Cubs landed him they would have their 1st baseman of the future ready to go at a small price. Butler is a career .298 hitter with a .364 OBP and is good for 15+ homers a year. He also plays really good defense at first and has a career .994 fielding percentage at 1st which is the same number as Carlos Pena and Derrek Lee.
The Royals could look at players like a Geovany Soto, Tyler Colvin, Darwin Barney, Ryan Flaherty, Jay Jackson, Randy Wells, and any other young players in the Cubs system. I also would not be surprised if they looked at Carlos Marmol.
I doubt the Royals would trade Butler unless they are blown away with a deal. I think a Geovany Soto and Carlos Marmol for Butler is something the Royals would look for but it is hard to say. There is a 15% chance a deal like this would happen.
Naturally a 3rd baseman Alex Gordon has shown he is a damn good outfielder as well. But the thing that sticks out for Gordon is his bat this season. He is hitting .296 with 10 homers and a .363 OBP. He was projected as the next George Brett but did not live up to expectations. Since the move to the outfield he has flourished but the Cubs would not use Gordon in LF, he would be slotted back at his natural position at 3rd base. The only reason the Royals would trade Gordon is because they need to fill holes other places like I described above. The same players talked abut trading for Butler applies to Gordon as well but Gordon I see as less obtainable giving his price and upside.
I see a 10% chance a deal gets made.
Kila Ka’aihue-1st Base- Royals
Kila has done extremely well in the minors but they have not transferred to the ML yet. Kila is another older blocked prospect and seems to be the most available right now. He has 10 seasons in the minors and is a career .267 hitter with a .393 OBP and 160 homers. In the ML he only has 283 ABs which he hit .216 with a .309 OBP and 11 homers. The Cubs could use him as insurance incase they don’t land one of their big free agents, they could also use him to just add depth at 1st base. The Royals are stacked at 1st base so he is being dangled and he would likely just cost the mid-level prospect.
I see this as a minor good move for both clubs which means it has good chance of happening so I put it at 45%.
That does it for Royals and Red Sox… Look for the Rangers and Angels in our next edition of 28 under 28!
Until Next Time…