August trades are quite a different animal than trades prior to the non-waiver trading deadline. First, a team needs to place that player on revocable waivers, making it possible for any team to claim them if they are willing to take on the remaining salary on the contract. If the player is unclaimed, then the team can trade that player to any other team. These trades may not be as prevalent as the typical trade deadline deals, but several will happen over the course of August. Last year, that was how the Kansas City Royals were able to acquire Josh Willingham.
Perhaps the Royals could use August to make another move to solidify their roster. While the offense would seemingly be solidified once Alex Gordon returns, allowing Ben Zobrist to slot in at either second or right, the Royals rotation is still a work in progress. Newly acquired ace Johnny Cueto have given the Royals that top of the rotation arm they needed, Edinson Volquez has been solid and Danny Duffy is rounding in to form. Yet, the rotation is still problematic.
At this point, no one can truly say what the Royals will get from Yordano Ventura. In fact, it may well be time to send him down to Omaha for a refresher course. Jeremy Guthrie is what he is, and simply does not inspire confidence. Yes, Chris Young and Kris Medlen could be options, but the Royals may want to look elsewhere to shore up their rotation.
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While it may not make sense on the surface, if one simply looks at the statistics, a possible option for the Kansas City Royals rotation woes could be Kyle Lohse. Lohse had turned in to a solid pitcher over the previous four seasons, but has struggled for the Brewers this year, posting a miserable 5-13 record with a 6.31 ERA and a 1.468 WHiP. In fact, Lohse has struggled to the point where the Brewers are removing him from the rotation, hoping that he can rediscover some semblance of his former self in a relief role.
Yet, these struggles may not be nearly as bad as it would seem. the main cause of Lohse’s implosion this season appears to be his numbers would indicate. The biggest issues affecting Lohse this season would seem to be his tendency towards the long ball, as he has given up 25 home runs already this season, as his 1.79 home run per nine rate is the highest of his career. His velocity and control appear to be relatively unchanged, making it possible that his 2015 season can be corrected.
Moving over to Kauffman Stadium, with it’s spacious outfield, could certainly do wonders for Lohse and his home run tendencies. Likewise, putting the Royals defense behind Lohse, which has saved 48 runs this season, compared to the Brewers atrocious defense, which has cost Milwaukee 20 runs, could make a major difference.
Players that are traded in August tend not to be major difference makers. However, with the Kansas City Royals potentially needing another starter, Kyle Lohse could be a perfect low risk, high reward player. Sometimes, all it takes is a change of scenery for a player to get back to what they had been before.