Kansas City Royals – INF Adalberto Mondesi
Adalberto Mondesi was once a highly thought of prospect for the Royals, ranked as high as 37th by MLB Pipeline in 2016. Since then, Mondesi has struggled for the Royals and has moved from shortstop to third base. He is not a traditional third baseman, but he provides a unique skill set and strengths that the Mariners could use to their benefit. While he is not the biggest name or slugger, he could be an option for the Mariners if they miss out on Kris Bryant or Trevor Story.
The comparison for a scenario where the Mariners acquire Adalberto Mondesi can be found in the current heartbeat of the Mariners club, J.P. Crawford. Crawford was acquired after being a top prospect for the Phillies and struggling in the big leagues a bit. They have very different tools and traits, but the premise is the same. Mondesi could benefit from a change of scenery, and the Mariners may have the chance to give it to him.
The Mariners may be able to change something with his approach to improve his offensive and defensive skills. Mondesi has had up and down years in the field, but a Spring Training with infield coach Perry Hill should turn him into at least average, with the potential to be above average. Working with the hitting coaches in Seattle could also help him develop, as he is only 26 years old. Being around Crawford might also benefit him, as he would be at a similar point in his career.
The biggest problem with Mondesi is his health. He has been placed on the injured list 5 times dating back to 2019, costing him to only play in exactly half of all possible games the last three seasons. That is not a good number, but he has shown flashes of being a very exciting and valuable player.
The best tool in Mondesi’s bag is his speed. He stole 32,43, and 24 bases from 2018-2020 for the Royals. He is one of the fastest players in baseball and one of the best baserunners. He would immediately be the best runner on the M’s roster and give them legit 20 plus steal potential. That is something that they currently don’t have and it would be a boost to the team.
The potential to be a 2-4 WAR player as he showed in back-to-back seasons in 2018 and 2019. Mondesi put up a 2.8 WAR season in just 75 games and had a 113 wRC+. In 2019 he had a 2.4 WAR season in a career-high 102 games but had an 81 wRC+. If the Mariners can unlock something in Mondesi, he could emerge as a solid young player. He is a free agent after 2023, so the Mariners would only acquire him for two seasons, therefore keeping a trade cost down.
In this trade scenario, the M’s would send Taylor Trammell and Wyatt Mills to the Royals for Mondesi. From a Royals perspective, they are getting a young outfielder who has a small amount of big league time and was once a highly regarded prospect. Trammell would be in the mix to play in the Royals 2022 outfield and has many years of club control remaining. Mills is a bullpen piece who probably would have seen more action if he was not on the Mariners last year.
The combination of Trammell and Mills gives the Royals two potential mid-tier players, not stars, but competent players to fill around young players like Bobby Witt and Nicky Lopez. The Mariners would be buying in on Adalberto Mondesi and believe that they can turn him into something better. An interesting idea with Mondesi would be to see if he could play center field with his speed. That would be a way to boost his value even more for Seattle.