2) Edinson Volquez
Steady Eddie Volquez has been the most reliable KC Royals pitcher over the last two years and was a key part of the 2015 World Series Win. In 2015 Volquez pitched just over 200 innings, started two world series games, with one of them coming on the heels of his father passing away. It was one of the gutsiest performances I have ever seen in sports.
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Volquez’s numbers in 2015 were solid with a 3.55 ERA, a FIP of 3.85, and a WHIP of 1.308. He was the staff ace on the KC Royals, and would have had a home on pretty much any other staff as at least a solid #3. Volquez has been almost as effective in 2016. His ERA and FIP is up a bit due to a few bad starts but as of now Volquez has an ERA of 3.9.
As everyone knows, mutual options are rarely ever exercised so it is likely if Volquez has a good year, he will go to free agency and if it is a down year, the KC Royals would not exercise their portion. Starting pitching is ALWAYS at a premium at the trade deadline, and Volquez would get a lot of attention. Essentially Volquez would be a rental since he is in the 2nd year of a 2 year deal with a mutual option for a 3rd year.
Moving Volquez would free up a spot for one of the young guns in AAA to get some MLB time, but mainly it would get back some of what was lost when the Royals traded for Cueto last year. I would expect a top prospect in return for the ability to rent Volquez.
Next: Trade Bait No. 3