Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers Trade Could Make Sense


It would appear as though the Kansas City Royals have an abundance of riches when it comes to the pitching staff. Their bullpen is stocked with power arms almost everywhere, and appears to be the best in baseball at this point. The Royals starting rotation, fronted by the young Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy, also includes veteran inning eaters in Jason Vargas and Jeremy Guthrie. Edinson Volquez, if able to replicate his production from last year, gives the Royals quite the rotation. This does not even include Chris Young, currently slated for the bullpen, despite his history as a starter.

Yet, pitching depth can be extremely fragile. Just look at the injuries that have occurred already in Spring Training around baseball. A team like the Texas Rangers, for example, had counted on improved health as a key to contending this season. Instead, the Rangers may already be in sell mode, having lost Yu Darvish for the season and have holes in both the rotation and the bullpen.

Given the depth of pitching that the Kansas City Royals have, as well as the young arms that are on the precipice of contributing at the major league level, they would appear to be a solid match for the Rangers. Likewise, the Rangers could be an interesting trade partner for the Royals, as they do have several players who could be an upgrade in the Kansas City starting lineup.

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Perhaps the most intriguing of these possible fits would be Adrian Beltre. Even though Beltre is going to be 36 years old on the second day of the season, he still produced far above what the Kansas City Royals have been used to at third over the past few years. In what was considered a bit of a down year, Beltre produced a .324/.388/.492 batting line, hitting 19 home runs. He made his fourth All-Star Game in five years, won the Silver Slugger award and continued to produce at his accustomed rate.

As Beltre has been such a solid player both offensively and defensively for the Rangers, it would seem difficult to imagine that they would let him go. However, given the Rangers pitching woes, and the fact that Beltre is owed a total of $34 Million over the next two seasons, they may decide that he is worth putting on the block. Should the Rangers make that determination, the Royals should be on the phone.

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Despite the Kansas City Royals front office continuing their patience with Mike Moustakas, at some point that patience will run out. Of the 29 third baseman to get more than 375 plate appearances last season, Moustakas ranked 28th with a .632 OPS, with only the abysmal Matt Dominguez trailing. Beltre, meanwhile, had a .879 OPS, easily leading the position.

Even though the Royals added a couple of bats in Alex Rios and Kendrys Morales that could supply some much needed power to their lineup, those two players may not be enough to invigorate an offense that was woeful at times. Neither of those players are the impact bat that a player like Adrian Beltre would be. In fact, Beltre may well be the missing piece to the Kansas City Royals offensive puzzle, a legitimate middle of the order bat that could transform both the lineup and the Royals fortunes this season.

If the Texas Rangers are truly looking for pitching, perhaps the Kansas City Royals can pry Beltre away from Arlington for a pitcher and the idea that Mike Moustakas just needs a change of scenery. Even though it would be quite the stretch to imagine that the Rangers would say yes, there have been far worse trades.

Next: Alex Gordon Returning to Royals Lineup Saturday