The MLB Trade Deadline is all the rage these days and big names have already been on the move. The Royals have found themselves in the middle of some deals over the years at the deadline, though usually as sellers.
That being the case, I went through and constructed a roster of players made up only of those players the Royals traded at the deadline. For this purpose, I considered a “deadline trade” anything within three weeks of the deadline (prior to 1986, the deadline was June 15 each year).
Warning: Some of the names to follow are painful memories of awful teams, bad deals, and it’s not for the faint of heart:
C – Matt Treanor (1997)
Before his 2011 stint with the Royals, Treanor had been drafted by Kansas City in 1994. On July 29, 1997, the Royals traded him to Florida for left-handed pitcher Matt Whisenant, who made 142 appearances as a Royal with a 5.05 ERA.
1B – Matt Stairs (2006)
Stairs was a part of some of the worst Royals teams ever, hitting 39 homers from 2004 until July 31, 2006 as a Royal. The Royals got right-handed pitcher Jose Diaz from Texas for him. He threw 25 innings in the Royals organization before going to Japan.
2B – Mike Aviles (2011)
Last year, Aviles was struggling with the Royals and his defense was suspect. With Alcides Escobar and Johnny Giavotella around, the Royals found him expendable and sent him to Boston for infielder Yamaico Navarro and right-hander Kendal Volz. Aviles went on to produce a .775 OPS for Boston the rest of the year and started out hot in 2012 as well.
Volz pitched in Double A before retiring earlier this month. Navarro didn’t fit within the organization and had some character problems (he was arrested for a DUI earlier this month) and was flipped to Pittsburgh for Brooks Pounders and Diego Goris.
SS – Rey Sanchez (2001)
Sanchez didn’t have a lot of power, but when he was with the Royals he showed he was fine as a contact hitter and provided solid defense at short. After two years in Kansas City, Sanchez was traded to Atlanta at the deadline in 2001 for minor league outfielder Alejandro Machado and pitcher Brad Voyles.
Machado would be traded in a deadline deal in 2003 for Curtis Leskanic as the Royals found themselves in contention.
3B – Alberto Callaspo (2010)
When he started his Royals career, Callaspo looked like he might develop into a potent bat at second base. In 2009, he hit .300 and had 60 extra base hits. In 2010, his name came up in trade talks and the Royals, with other options to play third base (where Callaspo had played more and more starting that year), they dealt him on July 22, 2010 to the Angels for righty Sean O’Sullivan and lefty Will Smith.
O’Sullivan pitched as a spot starter and long relief guy for the Royals until being traded to the Blue Jays for cash. Will Smith has surfaced as a member of the Royals starting rotation after injuries and solid work in Omaha.
OF – Tom Goodwin (1997)
The Royals grabbed Goodwin off waivers in 1994 and put him in their lineup starting in 1995 where he proceeded to steal 150 bases in two and a half seasons.
On July 25, 1997, they traded him to Texas, getting Dean Palmer in return. This is an example of one of their more successful deadline deals, as Palmer went on to hit .278/.335/.487 in over 200 plate appearances the rest of the year and hit as a Royal in 1998. Goodwin went on to play until 2004, carving out a decent career for himself.
OF – Jose Bautista (2004)
If you blinked in 2004, you missed Bautista’s Royals career. He played a grand 13 games with the Royals in a season where he made appearances for four different big league teams.
He’s in here because he’s a fun name to include – the move a the time was of little significance to anyone. Nobody though he’d go on to lead the American League in homers two years in a row. He wasn’t even a full time player until 2010. On July 30, the Royals sent him to the Mets for an infamous name among Royals fans – Justin Huber.
OF – Jermaine Dye (2001)
That’s almost all you can say about this one, right? The Royals turned a young All-Star and Gold Glove outfielder into Neifi Perez. I don’t even want to talk about this move. It’s too painful. At least in the other notable trades of Johnny Damon and Carlos Beltran, the Royals got something of value (though barely) – Perez is among the worst everyday players in recent memory.
July 25, 2001 is a painful memory.
SP – Kevin Appier (1999)
This one hurts, but after 1998 was lost to shoulder surgery, it doesn’t hurt as much as Dye’s trade. Appier wasn’t the same after the surgery but still ended up in demand at the deadline. On July 31, 1999, the Royals sent him to the A’s for Jeff D’Amico (NOT the former Brewer), Brad Rigby and Blake Stein, all right-handed pitchers.
Appier wasn’t much more effective for the A’s and ended up bouncing around the league before returning to the Royals in late 2003. D’Amico and Rigby both put up ERAs above 9.00 as Royals, though Stein at least approached league average as a pitcher for Kansas City until disappearing from baseball after 2002.
RP – Octavio Dotel (2007)
The Royals signed Dotel to a one-year deal and it wasn’t a surprise when they looked to move him at the deadline in 2007. They put him in 24 games where he earned 11 saves but they didn’t need a closer very much in a year where they lost 93 games and had Rule 5 pick Joakim Soria pitching well enough to take over the role.
Dotel’s time with the Royals is just a blip on his nomadic radar (13 teams in 14 years). For 7.2 innings of work, the Braves sent Kyle Davies to Kansas City on the last day of the month and the rest is history.
Other notable deadline departures:
Tags: AL Central Baseball Jermaine Dye Jose Bautista Kansas City Kansas City Royals KC KC Royals Kevin Appier Matt Stairs Matt Treanor Mike Aviles MLB MLB Trade Deadline Octavio Dotel Rey Sanchez Royals Tom Goodwin