Sleeper free agent position player options for Kansas City

Thearon W. Henderson

The Royals could target these three players to help shore up their offense for 2013.

As a follow-up piece to yesterday’s musings on free agent starting pitching the Kansas City Royals could go after this offseason, here’s a quick look at some position players they could also target:

1. Kelly Johnson
Now that the Toronto Blue Jays have acquired shortstop Mike Aviles from the Boston Red Sox as compensation for trading manager John Farrell (yep, you’re reading that right), Kelly Johnson could be on the move. With Yunel Escobar already entrenched at short however, Aviles could be moved to second making Johnson expendable.

A line of 16 HR, 55 RBI, .225 Avg. made for a down year for Johnson who made almost $6.5M last year. That would still be a massive improvement at second for the Royals however, and at 30 years of age, Johnson still has some good years left in him. He might be worth a look.

2. Jonny Gomes
When you are relying on Jeff Francoeur and one of Jarrod Dyson or David Lough to make up two-thirds of your outfield, you have a problem. After having a successful 2012 campaign in what was essentially a platoon role for the Oakland Athletics (18/47/.262 in 99 games), and with the Athletics’ recent acquisition of Chris Young from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Jonny Gomes might be the odd man out. He only made $1M last year and would certainly be looking for a raise, but the Royals can afford him and should take a hard look.

3. Grady Sizemore
Given the Royals’ lack of depth at center, it couldn’t hurt them to take a flier on Grady Sizemore and give him an incentive-laden deal that is tied to his health. Injuries have limited him to 104 games the past three seasons, and he missed all of 2012 after having back surgery in the spring and knee surgery in late 2011.

If he can finally recovery from all of that he would be a significant upgrade over Dyson and Lough. Low risk? Yes. High reward? Definitely. He wouldn’t cost much, and his list of suitors likely won’t be very great, so it would be worth a shot.

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