NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The A’s have engaged the Kansas City Royals in trade discussion involving speedy outfielder Jarrod Dyson.
A source confirmed that Oakland is one of the teams that has talked with the Royals about Dyson, as first reported by the New York Post. He could both fill the A’s need in center field and give them a potential leadoff man that they lack with their current roster.
A 32 year-old left-handed hitter and one of the majors’ fastest players, Dyson would make financial sense for the A’s too. He’s projected to earn just $2.5 million in his final season before hitting free agency, according to mlbtraderumors.com, and the Royals — saddled with several players ready to hit free agency after 2017 — are looking to unload some of that surplus. He hit .278 with one homer and 25 RBI in 107 games last season. Dyson has averaged 31 steals over the past five seasons despite logging just 284 plate appearances per season over that span.
Should he stick with Kansas City, Dyson is slated to platoon in right field with Paulo Orlando, but he grades out well with defensive metrics and can capably handle center.
A’s Executive VP of Baseball Operations Billy Beane said in his Tuesday media session from the winter meetings that Oakland is pursuing a center fielder via trade or a short-term free agent signing.
Dyson’s lack of track record as an everyday player is a potential drawback, as one major league scout told CSN California recently when asked about Dyson.
“That’s an interesting one just because he can run, he’s an impact speed guy,” said the scout, who requested anonymity. “He hasn’t played a full season as an everyday player. Let’s say he's used as a leadoff everyday center fielder, you don’t know what you’re gonna get out of him.”
The A’s do have a couple of right-handed hitting center field options in Jake Smolinski and Brett Eibner, and one of them could potentially form a platoon with Dyson. The Rangers and Orioles also reportedly are interested in him.