If the Kansas City Royals fail this week, they will need to consider selling. Who should they trade away?
Danny Duffy, Starting Pitcher and Trevor Rosenthal, Reliever
Danny Duffy has been impressive thus far in 2020 with a 4.44 ERA (4.08 FIP), 0.945 WHIP, with 28 Ks vs 7 BB in 24.1 innings. Duffy has carried over his newfound approach from the last month of 2019 into the 2020 season.
According to baseballsavant.com, Duffy is keeping the ball off the barrel, avoiding the sweet spot, and generating one of his best seasons regarding exit velocity. He is mixing his five-pitch arsenal exceptionally well and balanced. The velocity differentials between his curveball, slider, change-up, and fastballs give him three defined bumps on the velocity chart, which makes him a difficult pitcher to time up.
Duffy’s 2020 contract was worth $5,648,148 and his 2021 contract is worth $15,500,000. His performance late in the 2019 season and in the 2020 season has made him an asset worthy of prospect talent in return.
Trevor Rosenthal has been a “lights out” closer for the Royals in 2020 with a 0.90 ERA, 0.900 WHIP, with 13 Ks vs 4 BB in 10.0 innings. Rosenthal finally appears to be healthy and fully recovered from his Tommy John surgery he had back in 2017 (wiped out 2018 season).
A trade of Duffy and Rosenthal to the New York Yankees makes the most sense at this time with the Yankees in need of another starting pitcher and high leverage reliever. The Yankees, however, have a problem with one of their big trade chips, they need him.
The Yankees have suffered some outfield injuries with Aaron Judge being the most recent player to be injured and they need outfielders. I do not think the Royals are the team to supply them with an outfielder, but they may find a willing trade partner in the Pittsburgh Pirates to fill that need.
Clint Frazier has massive power and it continues to baffle me that the Yankees have been so reluctant to give him a starting job. The injuries to their outfield have forced their hand and Frazier has appeared in four games in 2020.
Frazier has hit .533/.563/1.133 in those four games with 5 of his 8 hits going for extra bases. Frazier has the ability to hit for a .265 batting average with 30+ homeruns with a full season of at-bats.
Michael King is a control specialist who excels at generating weak contact with his three pitch mix of fastballs (four-seam and two-seam), sliders, and change-ups. He is a high floor pitching prospect who is likely a number five type starter or long relief option.
Josh Smith is a 2019 second round draft pick out of LSU where he led the bayou bengals in all three slash lines with a (.346/.433/.533) and stolen bases (20). He is a solid all-around player who makes consistent hard contact and is capable of hitting .270 with 15 homeruns per year.
He has good pitch recognition at the plate and should get his fair share of walks. Smith has the defensively ability to stay at shortstop, but could be even better handling second base.