For years, Royals GM Dayton Moore has built up Kansas City’s farm system. Right now, Moore has the chips to make a playoff push if he so chooses. Callis writes:
If Kansas City wants to make a bold push for its first playoff appearance since winning the 1985 World Series, it could cash in its farm system. Shortstop Raul Adalberto Mondesi could be redundant with Alcides Escobar in the big leagues. Right-hander Kyle Zimmer and lefty Sean Manaea don’t have the cleanest medical histories, but they have huge upsides, and third baseman Hunter Dozier and righty Miguel Almonte are attractive prospects as well.
Certainly, the Royals have prospects to make deadline moves. But, if Dayton Moore cashes prospects like Mondesi, Dozier, Manaea or Almonte he will have to come home with pieces that will not only help the Royals this season, but will also help them contend for the next few years. Only then, would such a deal be worthwhile.
What trade targets might fit that description?
Word is, the Royals have been shopping for right fielders. The problem is, I don’t see anyone worthy of cashing in the team’s best prospects.
The trade target I liked was Michael Cuddyer, but he does not look ready to return to Mid-August. Even so, he’s also in the final year of his contract. As a short-term solution he’s not worth a top prospect.
Marlon Byrd is generally considered the best bat available, but he’s 37. He also has a no-trade clause that includes the Royals. Kansas City would have to convince him to waive it in order to make a deal.
Other possibles include Chris Denorfia and Dayan Viciedo, neither of whom would be anything more than a marginal upgrade. Alex Rios has some history of success, but he’s 33 with a wRC+ of 102 and looks like he’s on the downside.
One possibility is the Rockies Carlos Gonzalez as profiled here by KC Kingdom’s Joel Wagler. The fly in that ointment is that Gonzalez isn’t lighting it up this season. You’d be counting on a late-season return to form over injury.
Another possibility is starter Ian Kennedy, who might help out when Shields leaves next season—but how much of an upgrade would he be right now? I suppose he would be an upgrade over Jeremy Guthrie in the rotation, but 29-year-old Kennedy is no more than a no. 3 starter at best with an ERA+ of dead average over his career.
Look for the Royals to make a relatively small move, not a game changer as the MLB trade deadline approaches. Stay tuned for more Royals trade rumors.