Potential trade target: Jazz Chisholm

Boston Red Sox v Miami Marlins
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The outfielder brings power and speed.

With three weeks left to go before the trade deadline, the Royals will have to decide what approach they want to take. They are in contention, but have been sliding the last few weeks, and with a low-ranked farm system, they may be hamstrung in what they can do.

The two areas of most concern are the bullpen – which has the lowest strikeout rate in baseball – and the outfield – which has the lowest offensive production in baseball. If the Royals want to look at an outfielder that can help not only this year, but down the road, one target could be Marlins outfielder Jazz Chisholm, Jr.

Craig Mish of the Miami Herald reports there is a “growing belief Chisholm will be traded”, and he writes the Royals are one of a few clubs that “could have interest.” Chisholm is hitting .255/.326/.407 with 10 home runs and 17 steals in 87 games for the Marlins this year. The 26-year-old outfielder is under club control through 2026, giving the Royals a potential long-term option.

Chisholm was originally signed out of the Bahamas for $200,000 by the Diamondbacks, but was traded in 2019 straight up for pitcher Zac Gallen. In 2022 he was named an All-star after hitting 2.54/.325/.535 with 14 home runs in 60 games, but a stress fracture in his back kept him out the second half of the season. Despite that, he was put on the cover of the video game MLB The Show the next spring, but couldn’t match the hype, hitting a pedestrian .250/.304/.457 with 19 home runs and 22 steals with 1.2 rWAR. Perhaps because of that, he was the most frequently named as “most overrated player” in a recent anonymous poll of players.

Chisholm is a left-handed bat with a fairly pronounced platoon split, but with an intriguing blend of power and speed. He is posting the best walk rate of his career at 8.8 percent, while significantly slashing his strikeout rate to a career-best 24.9 percent. Chisholm is capable of playing centerfield, although his defense is average-to-poor by the metrics. He has 0 Outs Above Average (OAA) and -5 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) this year, and had 4 OAA last year with -9 DRS. He also played some middle infield earlier in his career, but not since 2022.

The Mariners and Pirates are the other clubs Mish lists as having potential interest in Chisholm, although he writes his “injuries, and his personality have kept other clubs wondering what they would be getting in return.” Chisholm complained about his first three years with the Marlins, citing mistreatment from veterans like shortstop Miguel Rojas and a strict dress code that he clashed with. He also once went to social media to complain about being benched against a left-handed pitcher.

The asking price for a player with potential and years of club control won’t be cheap. The Marlins are a rebuilding team and would likely seek prospects in return. They are “expected to move multiple players on or before the deadline”, according to Mish. Reliever Taylor Scott, an impending free agent, should draw the most attention, but he writes relievers Calvin Faucher and Declan Cronin and first baseman Josh Bell are also available.

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Title: Potential trade target: Jazz Chisholm
Author: Max Rieper

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