The KC Royals are about the enter the most pivotal month of the 2016 MLB Season. If the playoffs started today, the Royals would be a wild card team. But if the Kansas City Royals want to repeat as AL Central champs and eventual world champs, they will have some big decisions to make in the next 30 days.
The month of July is the most critical month of the season for most competitive MLB teams because it is in July where managers and general managers must decide if their team has a realistic shot at the post season that year. July is the month where the GM can either sell the farm, or bolster the farm, which often has big ramifications down the road.
The general idea for teams at the extremes, either totally out of the playoff race, or a sure contender, is fairly straight forward. Teams like Baltimore, Cleveland, Washington and the Cubs know that they are contenders and will certainly not be selling top MLB talent. On the other hand, teams like Oakland, Atlanta, San Diego and Cincinnati know that if the offer comes, they are sellers of MLB vets with higher salaries in exchange for young and/or raw players.
Where things get murky are teams near the margins. Seattle is 40-39 and 10.5 games out of first place. Are they buyers or sellers? After all, Seattle is only 2.5 games back in the Wild Card race. How about the Miami Marlins? They are 41-38 and 6.5 games back in the division but only .5 games back in the Wild Card hunt.
Next: The Second Wild Card