Kansas City Royals: Spare Parts


The question at this point has got to be “What are the Royals doing to get better?”

Trading Danny Valencia, signing Scott Downs and trading for Jason Frasor? Those aren’t moves that scream playoff race to me.

Additionally, they’re rumored to be interested in trading for guys like Jonny Gomes. So, what are they doing to get better?

These are all spare parts. Teams like the Athletics, Dodgers and Tigers can be looking for spare parts to compliment their October-bound teams. The Royals are going to need more than a couple spare parts to get into October.

The Royals need one or two (or three) impact players. Instead of adding a lefty to the bullpen that had a 6.08 ERA for the White Sox this season (Downs), why not go get an impact lefty bullpen guy like Andrew Miller? The Red Sox have been listening on him for the last three weeks. He has been dominant. Rental player?  Sure. But if you’re dead set on tweaking your bullpen, go get Miller. Not Downs.

We are obviously not privy to every behind-the-scenes conversation that happens. And maybe the price was too high for someone like Andrew Miller. But at some point, the Royals have to act like they are going for it and not just saying they’re going for it.

Jonny Gomes hits lefties hard and he’s a great clubhouse guy. But he’s a defensive liability and he hits right-handed pitching to the tune of .151/.236/.258/.494.

These spare parts aren’t going to get it done.

There are no delusions of the Royals going out and getting David Price, Troy Tulowitzki and Giancarlo Stanton. But there are impact players to be had.

Alex Rios is on the block. He’s more than a spare part. His 2015 option is a bit of a snag, but he’s more than a spare part. Marlon Byrd is on the block. He’s a guy that can give the Royals’ lineup some power.

If it’s starting pitching you want, there’s some of that out there, too. Jon Lester doesn’t make much sense for the Royals because he’d be nothing more than a rental with no shot of re-signing him as a free agent next year. But guys like Bartolo Colon, John Lackey and Jorge De La Rosa are available.

There’s no panic. It’s not a time to make deals at the deadline purely for the sake of making a deal. But when you are two games out of the last Wild Card spot and the teams ahead of you are out there trying to make additions to get better, it only stands to reason the Royals have to be trying to get better, as well.

They can’t just sit back and expect the current roster to be good enough to get it done. It’s highly unlikely this team decides to flip a switch after 104 games and becomes dominant.

If the Royals are going to “go for it” and not just appear as if they are, they have to be active. The spare parts are fine, but only after the impact players are in place. The Royals aren’t good enough to simply add a couple spare parts and call it good.

It’s October or bust at this point. Who knows what next year’s squad is going to look like. But there’s a chance to play postseason baseball this year.

If they don’t get serious about adding players that will actually impact the outcome of this Wild Card race, they might as well become sellers instead of yanking everyone’s chain.

It’s not as if this Royals team has been injury-riddled and that’s why they’re scraping and clawing to get that last playoff spot. They won’t be getting any impact players back from injury for the stretch run. They have to go out and find them.

At this stage, doing nothing to become better is akin to giving up on the season.

Again, we don’t know all of the conversations Dayton Moore has had over the past couple weeks. But if Moore isn’t calling everyone in search of an impact player, the Royals might as well be in “sell” mode.  Because spare parts aren’t going to get it done.

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