Three KC Royals regulars could end up being attractive midsummer trade deadline pieces.
July marks the beginning of every baseball season’s maturation process. As the campaign’s fourth full month gets under way, many teams’ hopes for contention are long gone while other clubs’ wane; at the same time, pennant races start to ripen and general managers and scouts rush to find down-the-stretch help before the annual July 31 trade deadline arrives. Whether the KC Royals will be midseason buyers or sellers remains to be seen, but they may have at least a trio of top trade candidates.
Several things can turn an established everyday player into a July trade piece. Performance is the key—although there are exceptions (Brandon Maurer to the Royals in 2017, a notoriously poor deal) few players having bad years move at the deadline. Contending teams look for players who’ll make them better, not worse, while the also-rans hunt for good prospects.
Contract status is another factor. Contending teams typically don’t mind “renting” good players in the final season of their contracts; also tempting are those who present a year or more of team control, especially if they’re still arbitration-eligible or have time remaining on affordable contracts.
And some rosters just run out of room for decent players.
The pandemic drastically altered the game last season, shortening the campaign by over a third and pushing the traditional midseason deal deadline to the end of August. Because Major League Baseball obviously thinks this season will start on time and be played in full, the trade curtain will likely fall at the usual time. So, which KC Royals could be teams call General Manager Dayton Moore to talk about in July?