The first half is in the books and the Royals are right where they usually are at this point in the season – under .500 and out of the race. This year was supposed to be different. We were going to witness first hand the culmination of Dayton Moore’s much maligned process. They were going to win now because Dayton said so, never mind that they were going to be out talented and outspent by the Detroit Tigers.
They looked like legitimate contenders for the season’s first five weeks but then it all fell apart. The offense that Moore ignored during the offseason struggled to score runs. The revamped rotation, that looked so good early, has just two pitchers with an ERA+ north of 100. The bullpen’s inconsistency forced Ned Yost to try anyone and everyone in close and late situations. Brian argued Monday that the time to sell is now, and that’s exactly what Moore should do.
Except, he can’t. And he knows it.
“I don’t like the term ‘sellers.’ If and whatever we do (in terms of trades), it will be done with the interest of winning more games now. We’re going to keep pushing in all areas to make us a better overall team and ultimately to compete better now.”
That quote by Moore came today courtesy of Jeffrey Flanagan and all but confirms that he thinks the team is still very much in the race. Spoiler alert; they’re not. The Detroit Tigers aren’t the 2003 Royals. They’ve got this.
He sold owner David Glass on a theory that it takes X amount of years to build a contender (I used the letter X because the actual number seems to change based on Moore’s mood). Other teams have shown that you can go from afterthought to the postseason in three years but Moore remains steadfast in his belief that such a thing couldn’t happen here. Probably because of The K or something.
Moore should sell and every player on the 25 man roster should be made available. But like I said earlier, he can’t, because he won’t get the opportunity to rebuild. If trading Wil Myers was about winning 80 games, and saving his job, then he knows he can’t clean house without finding himself on the curb too. The downside to selling is that Moore prefers players that just aren’t all that good. While acquiring guys that do the little things, but are generally unproductive, would make The Cartoonist happy, it won’t help them win games.
“Obviously, the ultimate goal is a world championship,” Moore said. “But how many winning seasons have we had in the last 20 years? Two? We have to overcome that hurdle first and then move past it, and we’re trying to do it as quickly as possible.