If the Kansas City Royals are to make a move at the trade deadline to bolster the lineup, it is expected that they will be targeting a power hitting right fielder. While they are not looking for players such as Giancarlo Stanton, the Royals had been mentioned as a possible landing spot for players such as Marlon Byrd, Alex Rios and Chris Denorfia.
The list of possible additions for the Royals has now grown a bit shorter. Ken Rosenthal reported via Twitter that Byrd is no longer an option for the Royals, and that if he is to waive his no-trade clause, Byrd wants his 2016 option picked up. Understandably, few teams would be willing to guarantee $8 Million to a 38 year old player in another year and a half.
The other possible right field options, Rios and Denorfia, are not much better than what the Royals have been trotting out to right field already. For the season, Royals right fielders have a combined .270/.322/.356 with three home runs. While Rios leads the American League with eight triples, he has produced a .301/.329/.427 batting line with four home runs. Denorfia, meanwhile, has been worse than the Royals right fielders this year, hitting a mere .243/.296/.320 with one homer.
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Despite being a player that the Royals are thought to have interest in, Chris Denorfia just is not an improvement over what is presently in Kansas City. Alex Rios would be an upgrade, at least in terms of his batting line, but he is not the type of power bat that the Royals are looking for. In fact, Rios is essentially the same type of hitter that the Royals roster is generally composed of, a gap hitter with the ability to hit somewhere between fifteen to twenty home runs. Considering that Rios only has four home runs this year, he may not even get to double digits.
Unless the Royals can get Rios for what would essentially be a minimal cost, he may not be worth the price that the Texas Rangers would be asking. In fact, with the general lack of power hitting outfielders available, it may be that the Royals stand pat at the deadline, at least in relation to their lineup. There just does not appear to be a true difference maker available, at least at a position that the Royals could use.
As disappointing as it may be to think that the Royals could do nothing at the deadline, that may well be their best course of action. Marlon Byrd is the only player who truly seems like he would have been a real upgrade, at least as a power threat. However, he simply is not coming to Kansas City. The other options, Rios and Denorfia, likely would not be enough to make a real difference.
The Royals lineup come August 1st may well be the same that it is presently. For the cost of what would, at best, seem to be a slight upgrade, that may well be the best course of action.