Royals Reportedly Interested in Poaching Reliever From AL Central Rival

Michael Kopech has 43 strikeouts in 29.1 innings this year
Michael Kopech has 43 strikeouts in 29.1 innings this year / Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals are expected to be active in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, hoping to bolster a roster that's suddenly within reach of postseason baseball. Kansas City's bullpen is its largest weakness and one report suggests the team is trying to snag reliever Michael Kopech from the Chicago White Sox.

With a bullpen that has the ninth-worst ERA in MLB (4.32), the Royals need heavy improvements. The most likely outcome seems to be the organization acquiring a couple of arms instead of one star. Kopech would make sense in that regard.

A converted starter, Kopech has just a 4.91 ERA but his underlying metrics imply Chicago's poor defense has a lot to do with those mediocre box score stats.

Royals Reportedly Interested in White Sox Reliever Michael Kopech

According to Bruce Levine of 670 The Score in Chicago, "The Yankees, Royals and Phillies are just a few of the teams that have been doing their due diligence on Kopech lately."

A flamethrower, Kopech ranks in the 99th percentile in fastball velocity and 93rd in strikeout percentage. With 43 strikeouts in 29.1 innings, he's a perfect fit for a Royals' pen that currently ranks last in MLB in strikeouts per nine innings.

Kopech is under club control through 2025, so Kansas City would get the remainder of this year and next to utilize the 28-year-old. He's allowed no earned runs in 11 of his last 15 outings. Given Chicago's ongoing firesale, J.J. Picollo likely wouldn't have to trade away much to get the trade across the finish line.

The Royals have plenty of options before the MLB trade deadline in July. Based on these reports, the organization is serious about contending for the club's first playoff berth since 2015.

More Kansas City Royals News: