Jul 5, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Kansas City Royals pitcher Jonathan Broxton (51) is congratulated by first base coach Doug Sisson (7) after defetaing the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. The Royals beat the Blue Jays 9-6. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Trade Rumors Swirl Around Current Royals As Deadline Approaches

It’s been a busy afternoon with the movement of Anibal Sanchez to Detroit, Ichiro to the Yankees and maybe-possibly-not yet-but-close deal of Ryan Dempster to the Braves and as the trade deadline approaches, some Royals names are popping up.

We’ve discussed the likelihood of the Royals trading closer Jonathan Broxton or right fielder Jeff Francoeur.

Broxton’s stock is higher of the two, as Francoeur has been ineffective most of the year and has a bad contract anchoring him in Kansas City. The Giants had reportedly sent scouts to Triple A to check out Storm Chasers and they’ve been linked recently to Broxton (but have also expressed interest in Chris Perez of the Indians). The Royals are asking for a lot and most teams may not be seeking him to fill their closer’s role, but rather for additional depth and setup roles. The Mets were rumored to be interested as well as the Angels and as long as Broxton’s save percentage is high, he’ll draw some interest, whether the peripherals match up or not.

The Royals want to move Francoeur to free up a spot for Wil Myers. Jim Bowden suggested they’re trying to convince teams to take him, but a .661 OPS is tough to unload, especially when there’s a 2013 salary of $7.5 million to consider.

Some other rumors involve bigger names, but less substantial chance of putting something together.

Alex Gordon was rumored to be a player of interest for the Yankees as recently as yesterday though the Ichiro trade probably puts that possibility to rest. Other teams could pop up if they’re looking for outfield help, though, and Gordon might be a player who’d fetch a big return.

If there’s heat on Gordon now, it may not cool off until after the deadline. There just hasn’t been as much reported on other teams being interested – but there could be negotiations nobody is letting leak. I’d guess there’s a very low likelihood he’ll be traded, though. The Royals seem content to stick to their asking price on their players.

In particular, Dick Kaegel reported yesterday that the Pirates had inquired about Billy Butler. Their offer was Justin Wilson of Pittsburgh’s Triple A team, but Jayson Stark said that they’re in “buy-low” mode so that’s a low-ball offer for the Royals lone All-Star.

Other Royals that are known to be available are Yuniesky Betancourt and Jose Mijares. I’m sure the Royals would listen on Chris Getz if a team were to come calling.

The Royals have somewhat been involved in looking for pitching to trade for. There are reports that they’ve inquired on Matt Garza and Paul Maholm, while they also were said to be looking at Mariner Justin Vargas and were said to be scouting Wandy Rodriguez for at least one start. The goal is to get a starter who has some years of team control available. Their acquisition of Jeremy Guthrie might hold them for now.

Rany Jazayerli pointed out a distinction the Royals would do well to recognize. The Cubs are pricing pitchers like Garza as potentially helping two pennant races, this year’s and next year’s. The Royals are out of it now basically and would be foolish to pay the asking price for him to get just one year of significance out of him. I agree with that, though there are enough examples that some trade deadline deals are better in terms of the prospect value given up than offseason deals.

Dayton Moore isn’t afraid to deal this time of year – in 2010, he put three trades together to move Alberto Callaspo, Scott Podsednik, Kyle Farnsworth and Rick Ankiel. He has just over a week before the non-waiver trade deadline to put something together.

Tags: AL Central Alex Gordon Baseball Dayton Moore Jeff Francoeur Jonathan Broxton Kansas City Kansas City Royals KC KC Royals MLB Royals Royals Trade

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