The KC Royals can still make trades after the non-waiver deadline. The process just becomes a bit more tricky. Look for general manager Dayton Moore to consider designated hitter Kendrys Morales to the NY Yankees if the Kansas City Royals playoff hopes become impossible.
After the KC Royals allowed the non-waiver trade deadline to pass August 1, it triggered a different set of rules to make a deal. Teams must offer any player they wish to move on trade waivers. This allows other teams 48 hours to claim the player(s) according to two basic rules: 1) teams in the same league get first dibs, and 2) teams get claim priority in reverse order of current standings.
These rules tend to work to the detriment of front runners, because rivals can put in a trade claim just to keep a useful player off another team’s roster. If another team puts in a claim, the two parties can either: 1) work out a trade, 2) the original team can allow the claiming team to pick up the rest of the player(s) contract, or 3) the original team can withdraw the player(s) from waivers.
Teams can also ask for waivers on up to seven players in one business day.
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If the player(s) go unclaimed in 48 hours, then the team is free to work out a trade with any club in major league baseball. However, the player(s) that go in the other direction ALSO must pass the same process. Alternatively, waived players can be dealt for a player to be named later to avoid the need for waivers.
KC Royals general manager Dayton Moore could still potentially move potential free agents Kendrys Morales and Edinson Volquez, but the process would be cumbersome. Morales could help the Houston Astros, and New York Yankees. Both of these teams could use his switch-hitting power bat.
The Yankees are an odd case. They moved Carlos Beltran and relievers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller, suggesting they’ve given up on making a 2016 playoff run. However, the Yankees might have found the seller’s market too good to pass up for their short-term assets.
As of Monday, New York trails the Boston Red Sox by 4.5 games for the AL’s second wild card position. If the Yankees continue to hang in the race, they might very well be interested in replacing one veteran switch hitter in Beltran with another in Kansas City Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales, especially with designated hitter Alex Rodriguez set to hang ’em up on Friday.
If the Yankees pass on Morales, the next best fit for a deal with the KC Royals would be the Houston Astros—who are one game better than the Yankees at 57-54. The Astros have been getting substandard production at first base all season and could consider playing Morales as a first sacker.
Of course, the KC Royals haven’t quite given up on the 2016 season yet. Plus. Morales has only had one truly productive month for the Kansas City Royals this season (June) and has cooled off since. I’m not saying such a deal is likely, but it is something to keep in mind if a late-season miracle fails to materialize for the KC Royals.