Royals enhanced by trade with Padres

By Steve Sell
July 25, 2017

Tuesday’s thoughts...

• ROYALS MAKE GOOD DEAL — Kansas City General Manager Dayton Moore went all-in during the 2015 baseball season, acquiring Ben Zobrist and Johnny Cueto before the trade deadline for a package of top prospects.

The move was gold as Zobrist was a clutch offensive performer and Cueto, while not pitching up to the form he displayed at Cincinnati, did win some important games and it was like a rock concert everytime he pitched given his colorful demeanor.

While the Royals did give up some top young pitchers, the fact that Moore went for it wasn’t lost on his team. Nothing energizes a contender more than their general manager making a move or two to strengthen the club, showing that it’s committed to winning.

On Monday, Moore was at it again. While the San Diego Padres may be one of the three worst organizations in baseball, that didn’t stop Moore from picking off some of its top talent.

Moore shipped the disappointing Travis Wood (who has never got going this year) and promising Matt Strahm (who is injured), plus a minor leaguer, for pitchers Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter.

Cahill is the prize. He will be an upgrade at the No. 5 starter and his been through the wars. Maurer has a power arm and was the Padres’ closer, converting 20 of 23 chances. Buchter is a lefty specialist who can handle a heavy workload.

Royals pitchers, especially, should be ecstatic. Kansas City’s starters have struggled mightily going deep in games and now Moore has reinforced the bullpen. It is now a versatile group and gives Ned Yost a lot of flexibility.

The biggest loss was Strahm, but you have to give up something to get something. Esteury Ruiz, a minor-league infielder, had nowhere to go with the Royals, who are stocked at second and short.

Give Moore a big thumbs-up for this deal and the already tight-knit clubhouse should be even tighter knowing the GM is making the team better.

• WHAT’S UP WITH IRVING? — One of the more perplexing stories gaining traction is that Cleveland superstar Kyrie Irving, who has helped the team make three straight appearances in the NBA Finals, wants out.

The reason? He doesn’t want to play with LeBron James.

What? Not play with The King? What’s up with that?

Irving, who makes millions, wants to be “The Man.” He wants to be a team’s focal point and he has even listed the sad-sack New York Knicks as a possible destination.

Does Irving realize that his success is enhanced by playing with LeBron? Do you really think he will be the savior for the Knicks, who are to the NBA what the Cleveland Browns are to the NFL? 

Of course, LeBron reportedly is steamed. The Cavaliers, though, have Irving under their control and don’t have any indication at this point of trading him. This is gong to be a highly combustible situation and I, for one, don’t understand Irving’s rationale.

• ROUNDHOUSE TO GLISTEN – According to the McPherson High Twitter account, the Roundhouse is getting a fresh coat of finish this week.

That’s a signal we’re almost at the start of the new school year. The first practices for the fall sports teams are 20 days away and they’ll go by just like that.

I always like looking at the Roundhouse right after the floor is coated. The place shines like a new penny. And you can bet Dave Larson will be smiling as he takes care of the Roundhouse like nobody can.