Royals Trade For Two Players Prior to Opening Day.

Franchy Cordero hitting for the Padres.

With just one week until MLB teams start playing regular season games, the Royals decided to make a move. The Royals traded for two players prior to the teams first game (July 24th) against the Cleveland Indians. Late Thursday night, the K.C. traded LHP Tim Hill to the San Diego Padres for OF Franchy Cordero and RHP Ronald Bolanos.

Last year, Tim Hill went 2-0 for the Royals, with a 3.67 ERA. He has been coming out of the bullpen for the K.C. for the last two years, mostly as a lefty-lefty match-up specialist. He’s expected to give the Padres more pitching depth. There were rumors that the Royals were going to make a trade for Tim Hill over the off-season, but it seems those talks stalled.

For the Royals, both Cordero and Bolanos are going to be on the 40-man roster. This means both should be see seeing playing time during the 2020 season. However, with Tim Hill now being dealt, the Royals only have a handful of options for left-handers out of the bullpen.

In return, the Royals received a lot of potential. Both players are still young, with Cordero only 25 years old, and Bolanos now at 23 years of age. Now, let’s get to know the two newest Kansas City Royals.

Franchy Cordero

Franchy Cordero hitting a home run against the Diamonbacks in 2018.

Franchy Cordero signed with the San Diego Padres in 2011 as an international free agent. In 2015, he played in three different levels in the Padres minor league system. In 137 games between the three clubs he batted .290/.344/.450 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs. After that season, he was added to the Padres 40-man roster.

In 2017 he made his Major-League debut as a pinch hitter against the Washington Nationals. Despite striking out in his first at-bat, Cordero started out on fire. He had 19 hits in his first 17 games, but then only had one hit in his final 10 games before he was sent down to AAA El Paso. In the 30 games he played at the Major League level in 2017, he batted .228/.276/.424 with three home runs and nine RBIs, making 22 starts in center and one in left.

In AAA El Paso, he played in 93 games, hitting 326/.369/.603 with 17 home runs and 64 RBIs. However, in 2018 he began the season on the IL. During the entire 2018 season, he incurred injury after injury. The injuries included a groin injury, forearm soreness and a bone spur in his left elbow. In 2018, he hit 237/.307/.439 with seven home runs and 19 RBI’s.

However, Cordero hit the second longest home-run in 2018, with a 489 foot moon shot at Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In 2019, he only played in nine games for the San Diego Padres. Cordero now adds a lot more power to the Royals’ lineup. He has the potential to be the everyday center fielder for the Royals, but that leads to K.C. having to move Whit Merrifield back to second base. It is all about having Cordero stay healthy. When healthy, he has shown he can make a big impact both offensively and defensively. With this trade, this now puts more pressure on Royals Outfielders Bubba Starling and Brett Phillips.

Ronald Bolanos

Ronald Bolanos pitching during a game.

Ronald Bolanos signed as a international free agent with the San Diego Padres in 2016. In 2017, he played for the Fort Wayne TinCaps, where he went 5-2 with a 4.42 ERA while throwing over 120 innings. He then pitched in Advanced-A ball, going 6–9 with a 5.11 ERA in 125 innings. Next, he split the 2019 minor league season between Advanced-A Lake Elsinore and AA Amarillo. Between both teams, he went 13–7 with a 3.66 ERA, again pitching over 120 innings.

In 2019. Bolanos made his Major-League debut against the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, Bolanos gave up a pair of runs in his debut. He ended the 2019 season going 0-2 with a 5.95 ERA. He made 5 appearances and started in three of them. Bolanos could realistically be a starter for the Kansas City Royals during the 2020 season. He now joins the battle for a spot in the rotation with Jorge Lopez, Glenn Sparkman, and Brady Singer. With the season quickly approaching, this adds another arm to the list of Royals young arms.

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