Saturday, January 14, 2012

Royals Sign Kouzmanoff

Royals made some HUGE news today by announcing the minor league signing of third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff. Kouzmanoff as recently as 2010, was a 3 win player as judged by fangraphs. This is in large part due to Kouzmanoff's glove, which at this point in his career is one of the best at the hot corner in all of baseball.

For his career Kouzmanoff boasts a .255/.300/.420 line. Bill James projects him at .257/.308/.430 for 2012 and Roto Champ has him at .251/.298/.400. When you consider how strong his glove is, I feel as though Kouzmanoff is as good of a minor league free agent that you will find.

A year ago the Royals signed Pedro Feliz to a minor league deal. There was a fuss and ultimately we never really heard from him again. With a May 1, opt out date for Kouzmanoff the same scenario could reasonably play out. At this point Kouzmanoff provides the Royals with good minor league depth.

If Moustakas were to get bit by the injury bug, or struggle so much that the Royals have no choice but to give him some time in Triple-A. I would feel much more comfortable with Kouzmanoff getting the call than Mario Lisson or Jaime Romak. Ultimately, I love this acquisition. Not because I expect it to really matter, but because the Royals continue to acquire quality depth. Look at this organization and there is a level of depth that hasn't existed in a long time.

The Royals were extremely fortunate a year ago in the injury department. Moves like this help to ensure that if the Royals health regresses to the mean, so to speak, they will be able to better combat it with the depth they have built.

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