Adams would give KC short-term power boost

Adams would give KC short-term power boost

KANSAS CITY -- Just a few hours after the Royals acquired promising slugger Peter O'Brien last Tuesday to possibly compete for their designated-hitter role, a rumor surfaced in USA Today that the Royals might also be interested in Cardinals left-handed-hitting slugger Matt Adams.

As is their practice, the Royals do not confirm or deny trade rumors. But Royals scouts have been intrigued by Adams' power in the past.

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Would an Adams acquisition make any sense? Perhaps. Let's weigh the pros and cons.

PRO: The Royals do have a gaping hole to fill at DH after Kendrys Morales (52 homers, 199 RBIs the past two seasons) departed for Toronto. And O'Brien, though filled with potential, has just 74 big league plate appearances and likely isn't much more than organizational depth at present.

Adams, however, has played in parts of five Major League seasons and is coming off a 16-homer season with a respectable .780 OPS.

Adams wasn't intimidated by left-handed pitching last season (.822 OPS) and perhaps could slide easily into the full-time role. An Adams acquisition also could make sense financially: He is projected to make about $2.8 million through arbitration, which fits into the Royals' tight budget for 2017. The Royals need to maintain their present payroll of about $140 million, and a deal like this would accomplish that with also adding power.

CON: One of the appealing aspects of O'Brien for the Royals is that he is right-handed, and the club is desperately trying to find more right-handed power. With a lineup featuring Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon from the left side, adding another left-handed bat isn't a priority.

Also, adding someone like Adams probably would squeeze Cheslor Cuthbert into no-man's land on the roster. The Royals have hyped the idea of a floating DH this season primarily because Cuthbert, who filled in for Moustakas last year at third, has no position and is out of options.

Also, is Adams really that much of an offensive upgrade over Cuthbert, who hit .274 with 12 homers last season? As an overall hitter, Cuthbert, 24, could project better in the long term than Adams, who will be 29 by the end of next season.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.