MJ Melendez being in the majors could set a chain reaction for the Kansas City Royals … and Colorado Rockies
Melendez played nine games at third base in 2021 in the minors but Bobby Witt, Jr. (the Royals #1 prospect) is likely to man third base when he makes his own MLB debut in 2022. They could use Witt at shortstop (his natural position) … but then they’d have to move their 4+ WAR shortstop Nicky Lopez to second base. That’s no problem (nearly a full season of games played there in the majors) … but then Merrifield to right field.
The only problem with that is that Kyle Isbel (Royals #5 prospect), who did make his MLB debut last season, is slated to be their everyday right fielder. He had a 107 OPS+ in 26 games in the majors and had an OPS over .800 in Triple-A. The position he has played most is center field … but the recently extended Michael A. Taylor is there.
They could move Isbel to left … but Benintendi is there. Benintendi could DH but he’s a Gold Glove winner. Isbel could DH but then, Adalberto Mondesi is out of a job. The Royals, seemingly, want to find a spot for the former top prospect who, frankly, was overrated if his minor league numbers are any indication. He has constantly been injured but now, he’s finally healthy.
All of this means that prospects are going to be on the bench, multiple players will be playing out of position, or someone has to be cut loose. Hunter Dozier should be cut loose (-2.5 WAR) he’s entering the second year of a four-year extension worth $25 million. Unlikely. The bench is more likely for him.
Carlos Santana could be one but with the other prospects, someone else will likely have to be on their way out or on the bench. The Rockies could help in a lot of ways because they need a lot of pieces.
Perhaps one of the catchers, one of the infielders (it’s very unlikely to be Merrifield because it’d be like trading George Brett in the 1980s. He’s, essentially, Mr. Royal right now), and/or one of the outfielders and some issues could be solved for both teams.