Entering the year, the Kansas City Royals planned on using Jeff Francoeur in right field into the 2013 season, at that point replacing him with top prospect Wil Myers. But Francoeur’s struggles and Myers’ dominance of Triple-A pitching have changed the landscape in KC, reports Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star:
The Royals are quite willing to trade Francoeur, individually or as part of a package, but show little inclination to simply eat his contract and/or accept little in return.
At the same time, Dutton notes that Kansas City is "disinclined, at this point, to hand a starting job to Myers," despite the 21-year-old’s top prospect status and his .992 OPS in Triple-A. The club doesn’t mind giving Myers the opportunity to win a job out of spring training, but there is a chance he’ll spend the remainder of the season improving his craft in the minors.
While the Royals say Myers has improvements to make, the reasoning for his continued stay at the Triple-A level may have more to do with roster concerns surrounding the Rule 5 Draft, according to Dutton.
KC has several players that will become eligible for the Draft if not placed on the forty-man roster, and the club isn’t sure it’s worth using a spot in order for Myers to play in a handful of games at the end of a losing season.
Meanwhile, Francoeur is set to make $7.5 million next season and is hitting .240/.287/.372 with nineteen doubles and eleven home runs over 441 at-bats. The Royals could look to move the 28-year-old this off-season, or they could retain him and hope he rebounds next year so they can cash him in during the 2013 trade deadline.
What should the Royals do with Francoeur and Myers?