The big question now is: will the Kansas City Royals’ roster look differently come Monday when the team plays at Tampa Bay?
Monday is the Major League Baseball trade deadline and rumors have been swirling around at least four Royals, though one of them may have been eliminated from the conversation on Thursday.
The Royals put reliever Luke Hochevar on the 15-day disabled list, but from everything I’ve been reading and hearing it could be much longer. Hochevar has a shoulder injury, perhaps a reason why he’s been ineffective in recent games, including giving up a game-winning homer on the last homestand.
That leaves Wade Davis, Edinson Volquez and Kendrys Morales as possible trading chips.
The Royals would have to be gobsmacked to deal Davis. He’s been among the best relievers in baseball for the past three years, following a recent common trend in that he failed as a starter before coming up aces in the pen. Davis did spend some time on disabled list this year and with the Royals playing so many games where they’ve been hopelessly behind, his innings have been curtailed.
Davis would command a lot in return and my feeling is the Royals are going to hang on to him as the price is too steep.
Volquez would be a good fit for about any team as a back-end-of-the-rotation starter. He’s been durable and he competes his tail off. With more offensive support, he’d probably have at least two or three more victories. He has a problem at times with his mechanics getting all fouled up, but he’s a good pitcher and good teammate from all reports.
Morales is pigeon-holed. He’s only attractive to an American League team wanting to upgrade at the DH spot. I’m wondering if some of his recent games in the field were to showcase that while being a large man, he is surprisingly nimble. He’s done nothing to embarrass himself in Eric Hosmer’s stead at first and even took a tour of duty in the outfield when he was red-hot and manager Ned Yost wanted his bat in the lineup in a National League park. Morales has simmered in the last 10 days as the Royals’ hitting virus finally affected him.
Those are the players with contracts either ending or with an option. I can’t see any teams trying to pry some of the other Royals loose, though Ian Kennedy’s name was floated out there this week on one of the networks. Kennedy, though, has an outrageous contract that is looking more and more like a terrible mistake by Dayton Moore as he’s paying about three times the price for a pitcher who has given up the most homers in baseball and is under .500.
The Royals have some other contracts that are franchise-killers. While they’re hoping Alex Gordon’s total decline is just a one-year hiccup, he doesn’t pass the eye test. Chris Young was given a two-year deal and now he can’t be trusted to mop up in the ninth inning with the team down seven. KC already is swallowing more than id="mce_marker"0 million on the Omar Infante experience. Even Yordano Ventura is starting to look overpaid as his immaturity keeps holding him back.
2016 is basically gone for the Royals. Now Moore, Yost and the rest of the KC brass have to figure out how to keep this thing together and not allow it to crumble.