KC Royals: 3 potential trade partners for RP Ian Kennedy

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Washington Nationals
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Although they go into 2020 with the same closer as past two seasons, the Washington Nationals may need help in the bullpen as they try to repeat.

Sean Doolittle was very effective in his first two seasons saving games for the defending champions.  He did close out another 29 games successfully in 2019 but saw his WHIP jump by .70 points and ERA blossom 2.45 points.  His ERA+ was also cut in half.

If Doolittle continues his struggles, Washington could look to the trade market to shore up the bullpen.  Getting to the playoffs to defend their title would make them more willing to bite on a rental for the remainder of the season.

Having pitched in San Diego and Arizona for five years, Kennedy is no stranger to the National League.  His addition would add a steady hand and plenty of experience to maintain composure in a potentially chaotic postseason run.

One potential player that the KC Royals could shoot for in a trade is Reid Schaller, a third-round pick in 2018 from Vanderbilt.  He pitched well his first pro season in ’18 and looked good in a full year in the South Atlantic League.  In 12 starts his ERA was 3.29 and he struck out 47 batters in 52 innings while only giving up 38 hits.

Back in August, he took the Royals farm club the Lexington Legends to task striking out eight in six and two-thirds frames. Schaller has some serious heat and a fantastic mustache as well…check out that Rollie Fingers inspired upper lip hair on his MiLB profile.

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While we are grateful for the effort Kennedy gave us this year while entering a select club, having a pitcher save 30 games for a team that won 59 overall is like having the best field goal kicker on a 2-14 NFL team.  What the Royals need is to get a bit of value for a team that can convert those saves into a playoff bid.