Kansas City Royals: Second Base Trade Market

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Jun 18, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore watches batting practice before the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royals rumors are still flying on the trade market as the July 31 deadline approaches.

The KC Royals are officially “all-in” for the 2015 season. General manager Dayton Moore made that abundantly clear on Sunday when he dealt three left-handed pitching prospects for Cincinnati Reds ace Johnny Cueto. In a move unprecedented in team history, Moore dealt away prospects Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb, and Cody Reed for an elite free-agent rental. However, the buzz that still surrounds the team suggests he might not yet be done.

The Kansas City Royals still seem to be pursuing a middle infielder. Whispers have connected the KC Royals to both Oakland’s Ben Zobrist and Miami’s Martin Prado. Both are super-utility players who can handle both infield and outfield spots, though Prado isn’t quite as versatile as Zobrist—who can even handle the defensively-challenging centerfield and shortstop positions.

The rumors make sense. With right fielder Alex Rios turning it on in July to the tune of .338/.378/.455 with 6 doubles, 1 home run, and 4 stolen bases, the Royals could believe he’s rounding into form after suffering a broken finger the second week of the season. Between Rios’ resurgence, and the solid  recent play of the Jarrod Dyson/Paulo Orlando platoon, the KC Royals outfield needs do not appear as dire as they did when Alex Gordon went down with a groin injury two weeks ago.

That leaves second base as the Kansas City Royals biggest remaining issue.

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But, Zobrist and Prado aren’t the only second basemen available on the trade market. There are other options that Moore might pursue in preparing his 2015 team for the playoffs.

At this point, the KC Royals just need to go for it. I can’t imagine the Royals putting together a better candidate to take the title than a team equipped with: 1) an all-world defense, 2) a historic bullpen, and 3) a bona fide ace in Johnny Cueto. Aside from those three strengths, the team has the ability to scratch out runs in close games. The Royals also have impact bench players in Jarrod Dyson and, presumably, base-running specialist Terrance Gore.

Along with these objective reasons, the Kansas City Royals have the “it” factor. They’re a team that knows it can thrive under playoff pressure after their unprecedented 8-0 run through the Wild Card, ALDS, and the ALCS to the World Series last season. The fact that they fell one base short of a championship has just made them hungry, instead of causing a hangover of disappointment, in the clubhouse.

In the following slide show, I will examine the top second base candidates that KC Royals fans might see putting on a Kansas City uniform in the next few days:

Next: Oakland A's Ben Zobrist