Feb 18, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore speaks to the media during MLB media day at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Should Trade Sooner Rather Than Later


It has been the best of times and the worst of times for the Royals over the past week. There has been the elation of a ten game winning streak and the Royals being a game and a half in first, and the resignation over their three game losing streak which has taken them out of the top spot in the Central. The past couple of weeks have certainly been a roller coaster of emotion.

During this most recent losing streak, the Royals issues have cropped up once again. While the pitching and defense have been worthy of a playoff team, the Royals offense has once again begun to falter. Including the five runs scored against Hisashi Iwakuma on Friday, the Royals have scored a total of nine runs in their last four games. An upgrade or two, particularly in right field, appears to be needed.

Heading into yesterday’s game, the Royals were 14th in baseball in runs scored. This was mainly due to timely hitting and being able to string together hits over their most recent run. Yet, even with that surge and despite hitting 21 home runs in the 21 games that Dale Sveum has been the Royals hitting coach, Kansas City still ranks 20th in OPS and is 22nd in total bases. The Royals are still far too dependent on needing two or three hits to scratch a run across the board.

The Royals, in order to maintain their run towards the postseason, are going to need another bat. In fact, given the struggles that the Royals offense can have when everything is not going close to perfectly, they need that bat sooner rather than later. To be able to make a truly legitimate run at the Central, it will take more than pitching and defense – the Royals will need another middle of the order bat.

The problem is, not many teams have thrown the white flag on the season. While there are several teams that would not appear to have much of a chance at making the playoffs, those franchises have yet to begin selling off their players. This, obviously, limits the players available. Likewise, if a team has yet to concede the season, the price tag for an impact player is going to be higher.

However, that price tag, unless a team is demanding Yordano Ventura or Kyle Zimmer as part of the package of prospects, should not matter. The Royals find themselves in the rare position of actually being able to contend for the postseason, giving a playoff starved fanbase a glimmer of hope. Look at what Kauffman Stadium was like on Friday and the excitement of the fanbase following the series against the Detroit Tigers. Imagine what that would be like if the Royals could get that player to put them over the top.

The problem is, the longer that the Royals wait to acquire that impact bat, the odds increase that they could find themselves falling out of the playoffs. After all, this is a team that, prior to the ten game winning streak, was hovering around .500 for the season. Even with the recent uptick in home runs, the offense likely is still not prolific enough to carry the Royals to the playoffs. They need that power bat.

If the Royals wait until the trading deadline to acquire an upgrade to the lineup, it may be too late. They need to make a trade, and soon.

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  • kc4life25

    Good read but who do you think that we should trade for? Of the list of names of available players nobody gets me excited or willing to rape the farm system.

    • Dave Hill

      Zobrist may be available. I think Domonic Brown would be interesting. Alex Rios or Carlos Quentin may be options as well. However, aside from Zobrist, none of the names are overly exciting.

      • kc4life25

        Zobrist is an interesting option but I doubt he comes cheap enough for the Royals to make a move.

        • kc4life25

          Trumbo is another name that caught my eye. I know he’s currently on the DL and the avg. is not there, but hes got a big bat that is capable of 30+ dingers in a full season.

          • cardsfanatik

            I wanted them to make a play for Trumbo in the offseason. And they didn’t, so they probably won’t now. And not even sure if Arizona would turn loose of him. If they did, they would want a premium, and he’s a really nice power bat, but with his negative defense and average, he’s not worth the premium. I would love to have him in the middle of the order, but that probably won’t happen. Moose needs to find a new home, or go to AAA. Dominic Brown would be a nice pick up, but I would want him to revert to last years stats and stay there. But if we could trade Moose for him straight up, that would be worth doing. Might help them both with a change of pace also. I wouldn’t mind Quentin or Rios, although neither one scream Mickey Mantle. They would be a definite power upgrade. And truthfully if Aoki is only going to bat .260ish, they could do that with MUCH more power. We should have cashed in on Billy right after the ’12 season, but when I mentioned that, every one wanted to hang me from a yard arm.
            Another intriguing option might be Adrian Beltre. While I know that Texas has said they won’t move him, the injuries this year, and being 11.5 games out, along with having Joey Gallo to replace him could make him a trade piece, and this would DEFINITELY make a statement.
            Nice article Dave, and I hope Dayton doesn’t pull his usual wait til its to late to change anything. He should be getting some serious pressure from Mr. Glass if he isn’t already. IMO, this year, Glass did his job, now the ball’s in Dayton’s court. If he fails, we should see a new GM and Manager next season. This should be the year that Kansas City is winning it all. Moore has had the best part of a decade. His “plan” should be here by now. If it doesn’t work, its time to go a different direction.

          • moretrouble

            I was hoping for Nelson Cruz in the off season, who could have been signed for Infante money. I would have kept Bonifacio as the 2Bman and signed Cruz. I think they’d have a better offense.

            As for right now, KC needs a trading partner … and people will ask for a lot in return for the proverbial rent-a-player. Not sure it’s worth it, but maybe Dayton can pull a rabbit out of a hat, so to speak, and find someone to help the club. Help them at what position? It’s kind of like the cross between and elephant and a rhino: Ell-if-i-know.

  • KCMOWHOA

    Moore will trade for a bench guy to back up 2nd/short and then call it a day. We won’t be making any big trades this season. A third baseman would be nice, but we should’ve just kept Bonafacio at the beginning of the season to cover all of these issues.

    • Tyler_KC_Fan

      Except for the fact that Bonifacio didn’t want to be a bench player and wanted to be an every day starter. He wasn’t happy in KC so they got rid of him to try and figure the problem out elsewhere.

      • KCMOWHOA

        He could’ve just been our everyday third baseman rather than pretending that Moose is going to come around. These are the kind of shortsighted moves that are crippling a promising team. What the hell kind of team goes into a baseball season with 5 outfielders and no serious backup 2nd baseman or SS?

        • Tyler_KC_Fan

          You make it sound like Bonifacio is a stud or something. He hasn’t had the greatest stats the last 3 years and it certainly wasn’t worth the $5M, or whatever it was, that the Royals were going to have to pay him after arbitration. Moose has more RBIs, HRs, and BBs than Bonifacio. He has the same number of doubles, less strikeouts and around 30 less hits than Bonifacio and they’ve played the same number of games (Bonifacio has about 50 more plate appearances too). Moose BA is lower than Bonifacio and their SLG, OBP, OPS and WAR are nearly identical as well. Moose is making $500K this year. He’s cheaper, a better defender, and about the same player as Bonifacio (minus the speed) statisically.

          We complain about the Royals not having power, yet you want to take a speed guy over a power guy? Moose, as said by Josh Vernier, is the Royals version of Adam Dunn. Moose has 8HRs and could easily hit 20 HRs this year. So what do you want, power or speed?

          Also, the Royals had Ciriaco and Valencia that they said would be our replacements for 2nd base and SS. Esky is pretty good at staying healthy and besides Infante getting hit in the head he has been on the DL once. Our OF (primaily RF) is our problem area and we kept all 5 OF because Dyson isn’t going to be let go, we were hoping Maxwell would be the same player, and Aoki was our leadoff man. I don’t feel its needed to explain Gordon or Cain being part of the 5 OF because those two are easily in the top 5 at their positions, if not higher.

          There was no shortsighted moves. Its an organizational move. Moose could have had a career year after the way he played in the Winter League and Spring Training. But the Valencia trade was pretty specific on finding Moose backup, so Bonifacio playing 3B was never going to happen.

          • KCMOWHOA

            Gimme a break. How’s that blue koolaid? Moose sucks and if you can’t admit that nearly anyone would’ve been an improvement, then you’re in denial. We’re a team that already struggles to hit and we’re fielding a third baseman batting below .200? Try comparing Moose and Bona’s stats this year…

            Ciriaco and Maxwell both stink and everyone knows that. What other team keeps two backup mediocre outfielders around without a true utility guy? That’s why we embarassingly forced Valencia into 2nd base duties (luckily it was brief). The team assumed Infante wouldn’t miss time, and then guess what…he missed 2-3 weeks with the jaw deal.

            I love vern, but if you think Moose is Adam Dunn then you’re nuts. If he ever hits 30-40 home runs then maybe we could deal with his sub .200 average, but until then that’s crazy talk. The organization knows Moose is a bust now and they’re trying to push through Hunter Dozier as fast as possible to see if he could make the team next season.

          • Tyler_KC_Fan

            If you actually looked up stats you would see that those are the stats THIS year for Bonifacio and Moose, so good try on that one. Also, since the beginning of the 10 game win streak here is the stat like for Moose:
            .283 average, 4 HRs, 1 double, 9 RBIs, 5 BB, 6 SO. That’s during the last 17 games. Do you really think that’s something to complain about?

            Valencia made one bad play at second when Infante was out, so I highly doubt you can say anything about it being embarassing. If you watched the games, he did pretty well and they had to designate Ciriaco, who would have typically played second, so they could make a move to bring up additional bullpen arms. Also, Infante missed 2 or 3 games after getting hit in the jaw. If you have been paying attention, he was on the 15 Day-DL with a back injury WELL after he had been hit in the jaw. And during his time on the DL, we had Ciriaco playing 2nd as well as Gio. So yes it was brief, and by brief it wasn’t even a full series. And if you’re thinking Ciriaco and Maxwell are so bad, who are the Royals going to get for the bench? I agree we need a strong bench, but who exactly are you thinking the Royals should get, and what they will give up for those players?

            And the reference of Moose being the Royals version of Adam Dunn was more along the lines of always pulling the ball and basically only hitting HRs. I never said he was Adam Dunn, and neither did Vern. No one said he was going to hit 30-40 HRs, but there is a very high possibility that he will hit 20+ HRs. Hunter Dozier isn’t being rushed along either. If you actually look at his stat line, he is doing a great job which is why he got promoted to Double-A. With that being said, there is no way he is playing for the Royals next year. The fact that you think that is a possibilty is the absurd and hilarious. He is easily 2-3 years away from being fully ready to play in the big leagues. He may be doing well in Single-A and Double-A, but he hasn’t even made it to Omaha yet. So lets walk before we run here.

            And your comment about Ciriaco looking great standing between 2nd and 3rd while giving up the double player also proves that you weren’t really watching the game or paying that close of attention to the game. With the team down by 1, Ciriaco is running on contact if it looks like the ball is leaving the infield. Paying attention to how Cain bats and where he typically hits the ball you would see that he drops it in between the RF and 1B all the time. The ball Cain hit was high and hit hard. Typically those hits are over 1B and Cain is on 1st watching Ciriaco tying the game. The 1B for LAD made an amazing jumping catch and if you looked at where he caught the ball it was at the top if not tip of his glove. So the 1B barely caught that game tying hit by Cain. Please though, chose to ignore the fact that Ciriaco stole 2nd to get himself in a situation to tie the game for the Royals.

          • KCMOWHOA

            He blew it, and you’re an obtuse fool. Good thing we designated Ciriaco and Maxwell today. I guess you’re the only person that thinks they should be on the team.

          • Tyler_KC_Fan

            After 5 day’s you finally have a response!! I was beginning to wonder if you had anything to respond with. Sadly, nothing in the 3 amazing sentences came from your own thought process. Instead you had to wait till a report came out to start taking shots again.

            First off, if you were to actually read everything I said you would see that your last sentence, “I guess you’re the only person that thinks they should be on the team.” is totally false. I believe I said that out of our entire organization, who else do the Royals have to be bench players? I also said that the Royals were hoping that Maxwell, who had a .268 BA, 5HRs, 17 RBIs, 6 doubles and a triple in his 35 games as a Royals, would be able to replicate that. Soo far this year he hasn’t been able to come remotely close. All I said about Ciriaco was that he was on the team to help at 2B when needed and to run the bases. Now, if you can find somewhere in my statements that say “they should be on the team” I will admit I’m wrong, but I highly doubt you will find that.

            Secondly, why do you think the Royals are bringing up Colon? What possible reason would this team have in bringing up Colon…….. maybe they are thinking about replacing Infante with him! No, that doesn’t make sense…. Maybe it’s because he has been torching everyone in Omaha! Well, if you consider hitting .296/.360/.384 “torching” maybe, but I’m going to go with a no. Wait I’ve got it! They are looking to raise his trade value! Colon has been called up because we need to make trades this All-Star Break and we don’t really have a need for a 25 year old 2B when we have Infante locked up for 4 years. By the time Infante is done with the Royals Mondosi should be ready to be called up, if not sooner. So bring Colon up, prove he can play in the majors and trade him away. That, my friend, is why you are seeing Colon instead of Gio. Gio has had his chance and didn’t do anything with it, therefore his value is low. Colon is still a question mark.

            Third, the Royals went out of the organization to bring in a 42 year old OF/DH/1B that still has a little pop in his bat. That’s fine, but it’s not like he is going to be on the team forever or probably by the time the season ends. He is a low risk, high reward signing. If he does great, he’s a steal. If he flops, who cares. We release him and he’s back out in free agency.

            Now, if you recall one of my statements, I said, “who do the Royals have right now that is better than Ciriaco and Maxwell?” At the time, no one. Now, FIVE DAYS LATER, we might have signed someone that is better, and we are most likely trying to boost some trade value on a player we may never use after these last 14 plus days.

            I’m really hoping I don’t have to wait another 5 days for another mind bending and own thought comment, but I guess we will wait and find out. By the way, I’m only being like this because I have a hard time debating and not beig a smart ass with people who don’t pay attention to games, actually watch the games, or have a thought of their own as to what could happen. Instead, some people wait for others to start a trend and they follow. Unless you can come up with your own stimulating thoughts, or reasons to believe something, the grounds behind your statements or reasons for saying something are utterly useless. Talk to you in 5 days!

          • KCMOWHOA

            BTW, Ciriaco looked great tonight staring back at 2nd as he was getting doubled up in the bottom of the 9th.

  • Bear Brinkman

    Right field is fine. We need a third baseman that can at least hit his weight. And I’m really tired of Billy Butler. It’s pretty sad when the second baseman bobbles the throw on a dp and Butler still gets thrown out. Butler and Moose are killing this team. they should have 20 home runs between them by now. Billy isn’t getting paid to hit singles and doubles. Moose should pay the team to play. Instead we get this”Moose is better now” crap since he was sent down. He’ll have to get a hit almost every day to get to .240.

  • LGB

    Martin Prado can play both rf and 3rd. I like him or zobrist

    • Tyler_KC_Fan

      Tampa has been reported saying numerous times that Zobrist isn’t up for trading. Not sure why everyone is so hung up on an old, expensive 3B that has average numbers and very little contract years left.

  • Tyler_KC_Fan

    The idea and concept is all well and good, but just saying “make the trade now instead of waiting” is about as useful as a wet wood in a camp fire. I’m not sure if anyone really understands this, but Tampa wants prospects that are close to being ready. That’s what they request in every trade. Besides Zimmer, we don’t have anything that Tampa would be interested in? You might say Mondesi. Mondesi is 18 years old, an above-average runner and beginning to hit with more power as he matures. Mondesi is our future SS. Then you might say Bonifacio. Bonifacio isn’t quite ready yet but he is looking to be a real force in the near future. After Zimmer, Mondesi, and Bonifacio we don’t have any prospects remotely close. So after looking at some prospects that might have some trade value we need to look at Zobrist. He’s in his mid 30s, an average defender and has alright stats. Are you really willing to trade away our future that is young, cheap and nearly ready, for a 30+ year old player who costs well over $10M and only has 2 years left on his contract? I feel like we went through something similiar…with Shields and Davis coming to KC for 2 years while Tampa has a ROY RF (position we need) locked up till 2020 and a pitcher who is coming around quite well. Zobrist might be an upgrade for the team, but at what cost? Tampa isn’t going to trade or just prospects either, we will have to give them a big leaguer too. Keep that in mind.

    We need another bat, but we don’t have enough to trade away to get those bats. We could make a move with Cubs to get Samardjiza and then we trade Shields for a bat, but once again we go back to prospects. Cubs want prospects in a Samardjiza trade.

    You can say all you want about our farm leauge being good, but we don’t have the trade bait like we used to. No one is going to dig into our Double-A or Single-A and say those players will be just fine. They want Omaha players and unless we are willing to trade away every future major leauge for a player who has a year or two left on our contract we won’t see anything any time soon.

    Trading only make sense if we don’t compeletly screw ourselves over and I’m sorry, but trading away a contract that is almost ready that lasts till 2020 that barely peeks $1M is not worth trading away for a 2-year rental that we are paying $10M+ a year for. We can’t afford another Shields situation.

    • unclejesse40

      We will never really know what the Shields attitude brought to the Royals but I do think it is interesting that all of a sudden Duffy and Ventura started going after batters and worried less about trying to get outside corner strike outs, Duffy in particular. Shields is a bulldog and he attacks batters, I think Duffy might be trying to copy that, and I for one like it. In the world of business we always talk about getting a good mentor to show you how to do this or that, why in sports do we think it is any different. But again maybe Duffy and Ventura just would have figured it out on their own, we will never know. But I 100% agree with you on not depleting the farm system again for one average to barely above average player because the process hasn’t given us a full 9 guys everyday that can play. When this season is over the Royals organization needs to sit down and really stop and think long and hard about what selling high on players who have topped out on their physical or mental capacity would look like. Royals fans are attached to their players because that’s all we have, but start winning games and getting to the post season and people won’t care that you traded away their guy!

  • Blake Molina

    I was a huge advocate of trading Billy last year, and I’m certainly still in that camp this year. Last year, the Royals could’ve gotten some real value out of him.

    • Blake Molina

      I like Billy, but the production, especially as a pure DH, is just simply not there.