— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 28, 2014
The problem seems to be Byrd’s 2016 option. Byrd indicates that he will waive his limited no-trade clause, which includes both the Mariners and the Royals, only if the team picks up his 2016 team option (for $8 million). That would be a pretty expensive kicker for an outfielder that will be 39-years-old in 2016.
I think the Royals are wise to back away from such a deal. That would basically turn into charity for a 39-year-old, no matter how well he’s hitting right now.
Look at what has happened to KC’s own Raul Ibanez who has pretty much fallen off a cliff after hitting 27 home runs last season. Aging curves are pretty brutal once players start to crowd 40. They can abruptly lose it at any time, which is why long term deals for such players pretty much don’t exist.
Unfortunately, that means the Royals are now out on what many consider the best available bat for the 2014 trade deadline. That’s bad news for a team that desperately needs to upgrade its offense to make a playoff push this season.
The Royals have made shored up their bullpen by signing Scott Downs and trading for Jason Frasor. They’ve improved (I suppose) their backup catcher spot by landing Erik Kratz in place of Brett Hayes. Yet, these deals will be pointless unless they land some offensive help—unless they think Raul Ibanez will find his way back to the fountain of youth for the stretch run.