For yet another time this season, the Kansas City Royals optioned outfielder Edward Olivares to Triple-A Omaha. This time, it was a result of Michael A. Taylor returning to the team from the family medical emergency list.
It's been a whirlwind of a season for Olivares, filled with seemingly countless ups and downs. In 25 games with the MLB club, the 25-year-old is posting a .224/.280/.398 line and a 1.2 UZR in the outfield. His performance has been far from ideal but with such a limited sample size and the organization jerking him around in regards to which level he'll be at from one day to another, it's hard to write him off just yet. The Inside the Royals crew recently gathered to discuss how the team should handle Olivares moving forward.
Jacob Milham: It is no secret that I am an Edward Olivares supporter. He flashed great potential and made the Royals look smart in trading away Trevor Rosenthal to acquire him. Despite his hot streaks and playing above other everyday Royals, Olivares has been sent back to Omaha. He has stellar stats for the Storm Chasers and performs at a level where he should see steady major league playing time.
It takes two hands to count the number of times Olivares has been optioned back to Omaha in this season alone. The Royals need to either commit to Olivares or move on to the next prospect. Despite playing better than Ryan O'Hearn and Hunter Dozier, Olivares is the victim of a staff that apparently does not see him as a long-term player in Kansas City. For the sake of fans, players, and especially Olivares, Kansas City should either trade Olivares or give him an actual chance. Anything less is maintaining this pace that will waste away what potential he has.
Tyler Dierking: The Royals have drastically mismanaged Edward Olivares this year. The front office has spent more time having Olivares roam I-29 instead of letting him roam the outfield at Kauffman in a year that's been lost since June. Once the team traded Jorge Soler in July, they needed to give the spot to Olivares to finally see what he could do defensively. Instead, they gave third base to Emmanuel Rivera, pushing Hunter Dozier to the outfield and continued to give Ryan O’Hearn at-bats even though it's obvious that he's not an everyday player.
This year has no meaning when it comes to if Olivares is a part of the future movement. The most games he played in a row was three and he was sent back to Omaha six times. Where's the comfort and consistency supposed to come from? The way he has performed in Omaha shows he has the ability to be an offensive player. Defensively, he has struggled in Kansas City at times but again, how can you get better if you never play consistently? If the Royals refuse to give Olivares a true chance next year, they need to be looking for a team that will. It’s a shame that they weren't able to capitalize on a lost year to see what he was actually capable of at the big league level.
Jerry Edwards: The most Royals thing for them to do would be to find a struggling outfielder on another team and package Olivares with someone like Lucius Fox in order to acquire their services. Perhaps the Cubs would bite on this if given the opportunity to unload Ian Happ. It’s obvious the Royals have no desire for Olivares to be a part of this team going forward. This is essentially the new version of the Franchy Cordero-Khalil Lee trade.
Mark Van Sickle: Edward Olivares has shown potential at times throughout the season but seems like a "AAAA" player who will never get a true shot as a full-time starting outfielder for the Royals. We’ll likely see him traded in the offseason and hear about him hitting 25 home runs for another team in a few years.
Lucas Murphy: This is a never-ending journey on I-29. If the Royals do not see Olivares in their future, then they should be finding the best possible trade option. I would like to see the team keep him in the organization and add him to the force that is rising in the minors. I remain optimistic.
Christopher Tenpenny: I don't have much of an issue with how the Royals have managed Edward Olivares this season. While I would have been okay with him getting more of an extended look, I don’t see him becoming anything more than a Paulo Orlando-type player. He’s great organizational depth and a guy who can be a fourth outfielder and/or play against lefties. His defense is not up to snuff for the spacious Kauffman stadium and the decision to keep Kyle Isbel up over Olivares shows how the Royals feel about each player.
Yes, Olivares has raked at Omaha and had some nice moments in the majors, but so have Ryan McBroom and Ryan O’Hearn. The Royals clearly don’t feel like Olivares will develop into an everyday starter, and that’s okay. They traded a one-month rental reliever for him. It sucks he has not had a consistent look this season and it sucks we have to watch O’Hearn and Dozier struggle at the plate and in the field, but just because Olivares is a different name does not mean the results would be any different.
Jordan Foote: It's extremely unfortunate for Olivares that he hasn't gotten a fair crack at sticking with the Royals. It's even more unfortunate that he isn't some can't-miss prospect with the bat, nor in the field. If he can't hold down right field, there's no chance he sniffs center field for the Royals. At the plate, he didn't make the most of his at-bats. I personally think he's a much better hitter than he's shown this year, but we may never get to find out. This was a wasted opportunity on the Royals' behalf, and the only way to save Olivares' tenure in Kansas City is to give him consistent playing time in 2022.