Worst: Kansas City Royals
The Royals are mainly in the worst category because the Detroit Tigers dealing someone like J.D. Martinez or Justin Wilson inside the division seems unlikely.
This is especially true in Wilson’s case considering he’s more than a rental and is controllable through next season.
Additionally, the Detroit Tigers are 5-2 against Kansas City. Brad Ausmus‘ team could leave the Royals with a record that befits a deadline seller by the time Detroit departs for Minnesota.
Although Kansas City could clearly use Martinez as an upgrade in right field or at designated hitter, or Wilson as a bullpen upgrade to help form a bridge to Kelvin Herrera, the team’s farm system is simply nowhere near what it used to be.
Because of this, the Royals may not want to delve into their farm system too much at the trade deadline considering they could conceivably lose most of the team’s nucleus to free agency.
Upcoming free agents
First baseman Eric Hosmer, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, third baseman Mike Moustakas, shortstop Alcides Escobar and starting pitcher Jason Vargas are all slated to hit free agency following the conclusion of the World Series.
Closer Herrera and starting pitcher Jason Hammel will both hit free agency following the 2018 campaign, so Kansas City might want to start recouping value now from their roster so they aren’t left with nothing to show for an extremely successful nucleus.