While a good stretch of games is all the KC Royals need to keep them in the running, they could still be sellers at the trade deadline.
The KC Royals may find themselves questioning what exactly they need to be doing when the trade deadline arrvies during this shortened 2020 season. While they are currently in last place in the seemingly solid American League Central, they are still not so far back that a turnaround is out of the question.
The team is sitting at 11-17, a .393 winning percentage. This doesn’t scream post season team, but aside from a few outliers, many of the lost games have come during close contests that show the true form of the rebuilding team that is trying to grow together and find cohesion.
While they are 7.5 games back from the first place Twins and 6 from the second place Indians, a good streak of games, especially against AL Central rivals could see the Royals working towards .500 and moving their way up through the standings.
Still, there is likely some hesitation by many fans. While it’s always possible for the Royals to find a few more wins in the coming weeks, the focus may be better spent on where to improve and what positions need work to ensure that next year, a full year, is that much closer to contention.
Now, the trade deadline is approaching and the Royals will have to decide if they want to be buyers or sellers. Adding a consistent bat to the lineup could greatly increase their chances, espeically one that is better with runners in scoring position.
The spotlight, though, might be on the Royals bullpen. While the Royals have, for the past few season at least, dealt with a bullpen that couldn’t hold onto a lead, this year is a different story. The highlight of the team is their bullpen, with veterans like Trevor Rosenthal and Greg Holland finding some of their former selves, and young pitchers like Josh Staumont, Kyle Zimmer, and Scott Barlow showing why they deserve a long term place in the Royals pen.
No matter how the Royals see themselves at the trade deadline, it’s likely there will be plenty of teams who want them to be sellers and are looking to acquire some of the bullpen pieces that have helped Kansas City see some progress.
According to Mark Feinsand, Trevor Rosenthal could be the first to go if the Royals feel like trading.
Rosenthal has had a great comeback season so far. He has pithced 11.1 innings, has 6 saves and has has ERA at 1.59 with a stikeouts per 9 of 11.9. He has at times seen a few walks, but has been good with damage control, only giving up 2 runs.
Something else that might make him attractive to teams is that, according to MLBtraderumors, he would only be owed about $352,000 in prorated salary.
The big question may be on the return. If Rosenthal were pitching like this in a normal season, the return may be fairly high with more time and a larger sample size on record. For 2020 though, teams will only get a month of regular season use out of the pitcher. If the Royals have a high asking price, some teams may not be willing to give up a top prospect for such a short amount of time.
If the Royals feel they can sign Rosenthal after the 2020 season to a longer contract, there may be some use in keeping him around. If the chances of him moving on in free agency are high, though, it may be in the Royals best interest to see what kind of return they can get.
With the trade deadline drawing closer, it should be interesting to see which teams come calling for the Royals bullpen, and if they decide to answer or make some calls of their own.
Trevor Rosenthal looks to be a wanted man on the trade market. If the Royals can get a good return, the trade might just be worth it for the future.