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Royals acquire Justin Maxwell from Astros

Jul 31, 2013, 3:04 PM EDT

Justin Maxwell Getty Images’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Royals have picked up outfielder Justin Maxwell from the Astros. The Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton confirmed the deal, adding that the Astros are getting right-hander Kyle Smith in return.

Maxwell gives the Royals another outfield option with David Lough having cooled off of late. With Lorenzo Cain primarily in center and Alex Gordon in left, Lough, Maxwell and Jarrod Dyson will typically battle for one spot in the lineup. Maxwell will probably play mostly against lefties at the onset.

Maxwell, 29, has hit .241/.311/.387 with two homers in 137 at-bats this season. Last year, he hit .229/.304/.460 with 18 homers in 315 at-bats for the Astros. He’s struggled with injuries his entire career, which has made it difficult for him to establish himself.

The Astros have taken a liking to Brandon Barnes in the outfield, which made Maxwell expendable. They also have top prospect George Springer likely to come up and play center field later this season.

Smith, a 2011 fourth-round pick, was 5-4 with a 2.85 ERA and a 96/29 K/BB ratio in 104 1/3 innings for high-A Wilmington this year. The 20-year-old was rated the Royals’ No. 12 prospect by Baseball America before the start of the season, and he’d probably moved up a few spots since.

  1. kelshannon19 - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    See ya later K-Max! Royals are suckers. Astros would take a parking lot attendant for this guy.

    • Jeremy T - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      Well, Matthew didn’t make any mention of who the Astros got, so as far as I can tell from this article, they might have.

      • Matthew Pouliot - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        Nope, still no word.

    • jeffa43 - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      Who on earth thumbed down this?

      I would be thrilled for a stick of eyeblack, and a stick of pine tar… In fact that is robbing KC!

      Baseballs pitched to him or hit to him create all kinds of hazards for the Stros. I have a break coming up at work, and I am more than happy to drive him to the airport.

  2. proudlycanadian - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Ha! Nobody saw this one coming.

  3. crimson428 - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Dude has incredible raw power, just has problem hitting the ball. lol

    • jeffa43 - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      Yes! Also great speed, but has trouble calculating it with a ball in flight to his left or right… Over his head… and in front of him.

  4. kcrobert10 - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Yes our big move was to trade a good 20 yr old a ball pitcher for a bum who is just a replacement for Frenchy. Let me just say it Dayton Moore is a idiot and needs to be fired.

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