As the trade deadline approaches and the rumors begin to fly, I thought I would take a team by team look at the A.L. Central, and what the trade deadline could bring for the franchise. With the new CBA in place, it is going to be interesting to see the type of movement we see around the league, if there is much at all. The Central is interesting in that maybe it is a little better than anticipated, and that could make for an exciting deadline.
Here is a look at the Kansas City Royals…
Buyers or Sellers?:
It’s not clear at this point which camp the Royals fall into, so I will take easy way out and suggest that the Royals are both buying and selling at the deadline. I think that is a fair assessment of the Royals given that they have reportedly looked into acquiring Matt Garza. Their record, while they aren’t out of it, suggests that selling some pieces should be a priority of theirs. It appears because of their pitching, the Royals are still a year or two away despite some impressive offensive pieces.
Another guy that is movable is Jonathan Broxtonwho has bounced back to have a heck of a season.
Starting pitching. The Royals young positional nucleus is just fine. Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez, Alcides Escobar, and Alex Gordon are all quality pieces that could win if they were supported by some strong starting pitching.
Veteran leadership is another team need. I could see the Royals looking to acquire someone of quality with some experience in winning as well that has more than one year on their contract. Learning to win is easier said than done, and having a guy that’s been through the wars, and had some success might be a good idea. Garza would be a fit in that regard.
State of the Farm:
This is where the Royals continue to be in real good shape. Despite many thinking the system isn’t what it used to be, the Royals have done a tremendous job of continuing to stock their system. The real problem for them lies in injury, and a couple of key guys not performing. Danny Duffy was getting better before he had to go through Tommy John this season, and John Lamb last year was probably their best pitching prospect. Their is some pitching prospects on the way, but again, we are talking guys that tend to be in the lower minors. It’s still a stacked system, and there is very little weakness positionally.
I don’t think there is a huge market out there for Francoeur. If he would’ve kept up his pace that he set last season, sure, but he hasn’t. The Royals activity would likely depend on the other two players I mentioned, Billy Butler and Jonathan Broxton.
Butler is such a good hitter, if a team like Oakland believes they want to get involved in the sweepstakes, I could see them being a match for the Royals. He is a fit for the Dodgers, Pirates, and any other team looking for offense and could slot Butler in at 1st base or DH.
Broxton is a nice commodity simply because almost all teams look for relief pitching at the deadline. The Angels, Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, and a host of others could get involved here.
I don’t see a very active deadline for the Royals. When it comes down to it, Butler and Broxton are the only two that could bring the Royals back what they are looking for if they are selling. Butler is such a good hitter, and a popular figure, I don’t see the Royals moving him unless they are blown away.
If they are buying, they certainly have the prospects to unload for pitchers, but the ones on the market are pending free agents, and I don’t think the Royals will want to give up young players for someone that is likely to walk.