The second half of the season starts tonight for the Royals against the Texas Rangers and they will continue to push for a playoff spot. The Royals are not on the “bubble” at the trade deadline of selling or buying but are in contention for the playoffs.
Sell or Buy?
Realistically, this will be the last season that Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Jason Vargas, and Alcides Escobar will all be together on this team, so why not try one last time? There is no point in selling one of these upcoming free agents at the trade deadline when there’s a real chance for a run in October.
Right before the All-Star Break the Royals closed the gap to a half game out of first place in the AL Central behind the Cleveland Indians before getting swept by the Dodgers (who are arguably the best team in baseball right now). So why sell out? General Manager Dayton Moore and owner David Glass should invest in the season. Especially because Moore said Glass has always been “generous” with his contributions to the team when asked on the subject.
Plus, the team’s revenue is driven by ticket sales. If the Royals were to sell off their best players as if they’ve given up it will not get people to the ballpark in the scorching heat of Kansas City in the summer.
What do they need?
The Royals need someone to take the 5th spot in their rotation or someone to help in the bullpen. Soria and Herrera have been hit or miss at best this season and with RHP Nate Karns potentially out for the rest of the season they are in dire need for a starter to go in with Vargas, Hammel, Kennedy and Duffy. The Royals have had 11 different starting pitchers trying to fill that spot, including Red Sox Manager John Ferrell’s son, Luke Farrell. LHP Jaime Garcia of the Atlanta Braves, who is a free agent after this season, has been thrown out as a possible trade prospect for the Royals.
There has been talk that the Royals are interested in the Miami Marlin’s second baseman Dee Gordon. To me that’s an unrealistic and not needed deal. Whit Merrifield, who came up from the minors this season has been batting .281 and has an OBS of .319, just behind the Royals’ top hitters Salvador Perez, and Hosmer. The second baseman spot is solid, while the DH spot of Brandon Moss might need a second look. (On a side note that deal still makes me cringe, $12 million/2-Year contract for a DH that’s hitting .193).
I don’t like to jinx is but I can’t imagine Hos, Cain, Moose, and the rest of the team wanting to let their team that went to two World Series in three years be dismantled without a bang.