The Royals are open to trading relief ace Wade Davis and are looking for controllable starting pitching in return, according to Boston Globe reporter Nick Cafardo.
Cafardo mentioned this tid-bit in his latest column on Saturday. Given relief disasters suffered by the Giants, Mets, and Dodgers this post-season, Wade Davis should have considerable trade value despite elite arms like Aroldis Chapman, Mark Melancon, Andrew Miller, and Francisco Rodriguez eligible for free-agency this winter. Demand for top-shelf relievers will almost certainly exceed the supply. The Cleveland Indians have again showed how a strong pen can cover for a weak rotation in the 2016 playoffs.
Gosh, with back-to-back strong post-season runs from teams with weak rotations in Kansas City and Cleveland, the point is clear. Every contender will be out to load up on bullpen arms this winter.
So, just what can the Kansas City Royals expect to get for Wade Davis?
My guess is one top 50 starting pitching prospect, paired with two lesser starters from the high-minors. In short, the KC Royals can hope to replenish some of the pitching depth they surrendered at the 2015 trade deadline for Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist.
More from Kings of Kauffman
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Expectations met
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Day 3 update
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Day 2 update
- Winter Meetings: Any blockbusters for the KC Royals?
- Grading the 2022 KC Royals: The versatile Nate Eaton
If the Royals do move Davis, then their top priority will be to land a bat to replace designated hitter Kendrys Morales. In this scenario, I’d expect general manager Dayton Moore to address his bullpen needs by using top prospects like Matt Strahm, Kyle Zimmer, and Josh Staumont as relievers in 2017.
Prospect rich teams that fail to land one of the free-agent relief prizes will be likely suitors for Wade Davis. However, KC Royals fans will probably wait well into the off-season for such a deal to happen. Most teams will prefer to spend money for free-agents rather than give up a haul of prospects.
Wade Davis makes sense for pretty much any playoff contender in 2017. He’ll carry especially high value to teams who believe they’re ready to make a deep post-season run next season. For example, the Cubs could become a suitor if they fail to rally from a three games to one deficit in the World Series. Other possibilities include the Giants, Dodgers, Nationals, and Red Sox.