While one trade has been completed, the Royals may not look to move to many other players, looking towards the future of the organization.
The KC Royals have gotten their start on the trade market by seeing Brett Phillips off to the Tampa Bay Rays for the young infield prospect Lucius Fox. It was a deal that many likely didn’t see coming, but when looking at it again, may seem reasonable.
Fox brings along some concerns with his bat, but he is young, has some options and years of control, and has some time to work on any areas where he struggles. Phillips, while a favorite of many, was out of options and was part of the mess of outfielders the Royals employed.
Now that the Royals have gotten started, it will be interesting to see how they go forward. Trevor Rosenthal is the hot talk of the trade market, and there are, of course, always rumors surrounding Whit Merrifield, though they come around every year and never seem to amount to much.
With the Royals keeping an eye on not only their future but how the market is this year, things may not go as many expect. In a normal season, Rosenthal, Greg Holland, and possibly, Ian Kennedy would likely be the first to go, all coming to the end of their contracts and able to provide some sort of return for the Royals.
With the current state of the Royals, though, Lynn Worthy quotes Dayton Moore talking about the possibility of adding to the organization, and not taking away any of the playmakers right now.
“We wouldn’t hesitate to add to this team,” Moore said. “This team is talented enough to be one of eight teams representing the American League in the playoffs. I believe that with all of my heart.
“They’re talented enough to be one of eight teams. So I’m not even beginning to think about dismantling or moving players that help us win at this point. I believe that this group of players is extremely talented and very much capable of being a playoff team.”
The club is looking at the bigger picture including whether or not adding players would help, and if attempting to take sign players like Trevor Rosenthal to a longer contract could be a possibility. A lot of it ultimately comes down to finances and the Royals see this not only with their own team but with others.
To move players, other teams have to be willing to add to their payroll. Jeffrey Flanagan suggests teams may not be willing to make deals that add to the payroll, especially the Royals, with this season of decreased revenue.
“Finances are going to play a role for many teams,” Moore said. “With no fans, the revenue has not been there. Now you look at the possibility of going deep into the playoffs or the World Series where normally you could make up the difference [from adding salary]. But without fans, that revenue won’t be there. There’ll be some revenue, but not like before.”
With plenty of paths to take at the deadline, the exact route the Royals will take is still unknown. There has been plenty of back and forth, buy or sell, talked about, but nothing concrete. Jeffrey Flannagan believes the Royals will ultimately hold when it comes time to deal, opting to see what developers and plays out during this season.
The Royals have plenty of prospects still developing in the minors and many of them, including both pitching and position players, are very close to being ready for the majors. With a chance for the youth movement to continue, and as Dayton more suggests, the team likely won’t want to move any major pieces of their lineup, though adding one to help isn’t completely off the table.
What the Royals will do at the trade deadline is still up in the air, but there is a good chance they will remain quiet. While some players could still be moved, it’s unlikely any big names will be leaving Kansas City this year.