Could a deal for a Trevor not named Bauer be in the KC Royals’ immediate free agent plans?
No, there’s no reason to believe KC ever considered Trevor Williams, Pittsburgh’s once-promising starter who really hasn’t panned out as hoped and who the Pirates DFA’d in November. (He apparently has a new deal with the Cubs, anyway). Nor are there signs the Royals had any interest in bringing Trevor Cahill, whose best years are probably behind him, back.
That leaves Trevor Rosenthal. The fireballing reliever rejoined manager Mike Matheny, for whom he worked in St. Louis, last season, and took away Ian Kennedy’s closer job via a stunning reclamation of his Cardinal form. Faced with inevitable trade deadline rumors, Rosenthal publicly pronounced the Royals to be his team of choice, then professed similar affection for San Diego after the Royals shipped him to the Padres. That’s not surprising considering he pitched so well there (four saves, no runs, one walk and 17 strikeouts in 10 innings across nine outings).
Because the Padres gave Rosenthal his fifth taste of postseason play and are far more likely than the Royals to give him another one soon, and have a far better team and much more money, logic says he’ll return to San Diego. And Toronto’s recent signing of former Padres’ closer Kirby Yates, whose 2020 injury made trading for Rosenthal necessary, should increase the Padres’ interest in him.
All that makes a Royals-Rosenthal reunion improbable, but not entirely impossible. He clearly liked playing in Kansas City and grew up in nearby Lee’s Summit; the club would welcome him back at the right price. It’s hard to believe that the Royals ever wrote him off completely, or he them, so something could be afoot. Considering the potential competition, it’s a process that might require some time and quiet deliberation.
In the end, perhaps Kansas City is the famous, but always anonymous until the last minute “mystery team” working quietly behind the scenes on a major free agent. One never knows. The most likely scenario may be that the Royals are, due to competition or by their own design, out of the major free agent market until at least next winter. But a big, big signing would be much better. Maybe it’s in the works.
Only the Royals know why they’re being quiet. The rest of us should find out soon.