One of the best outfielders in baseball is going to a new team.
The Twins announced the acquisition of Michael A. Taylor from the division-rival Royals. Minor league relievers Evan Sisk and Steven Cruz are headed back to Kansas City. Right-hander A.J. Alexy was designated for assignment to clear a spot for Taylor on the 40-man roster.
Taylor has spent the past two years in Kansas City. Initially signed to a one-year, $1.75MM guarantee over the 2020-21 offseason, Taylor impressed Royals’ brass with his excellent outfield defense. The rangy center fielder proved a perfect fit for spacious Kauffman Stadium and an organization that places a premium on defense. He secured his first career Gold Glove in 2021 and earned himself a $9MM extension covering the 2022-23 campaigns late in that season.
During the first season of his new deal, Taylor’s defensive play only got better. He logged over 1000 innings of center field work, with Defensive Runs Saved pegging him as 19 runs better than average at the outfield’s most demanding position. It was the second consecutive year in which DRS graded him at +19 runs, making him far and away the game’s most valuable defensive outfielder by that metric.
For all the analytic fans out there, of course.
Since the start of 2021, no other center fielder has tallied more than 21 total DRS — with second-place Myles Straw well behind Taylor’s cumulative +38 mark.
Taylor had well established himself as not only a favorite among the organization, but a fan favorite in Kansas City as well. But with the team struggling, especially in regards to pitching, the Royals took the opportunity to acquire some future help.