Trading Brad Keller clears the path for some KC Royals pitching prospects.
Keller’s value per Baseball Trade Values: 2.70
Despite his recent troubles and the beating he took in Sunday’s 10-7 loss to Baltimore, Keller has at times been exceptional for the Royals and was certainly worth the cost of getting him a few years ago. He’s still only 26 and could offer teams with struggling rotations an experienced option down the stretch.
Next season will be Keller’s final year of team control before he’s eligible for free agency. The Royals don’t figure to have a spot for him with so many young arms nearing the big leagues, so it makes sense to trade him now.
These teams could match up well in a trade:
- Los Angeles Dodgers: Walker Buehler just went on the IL.
- St Louis: 23rd in SP fWAR
- Seattle: 27th in SP fWAR
Royals Trade Keller (2.70) for Rodriguez (2.2) and Carlson (0.5)
Trading with Seattle makes sense. After entering the season with high hopes, the Mariners are 27-33 and 10 games behind first-place Houston in the AL West. New addition Robbie Ray has struggled and early season callup Matt Brash was quickly returned to the minors after posting a 7.65 ERA. Keller could slot into Chris Flexen’s rotation spot and provide a big upgrade for a team needing developed pitching.
In return, the Royals would get two prospects who could help down the stretch. Sam Carlson, 23, was the Mariners’ second-round draft pick in 2017 out of high school. A knee issue has limited him to three starts this season, but over 19 in Low-A last season, he was 6-4 with a 4.77 ERA and 10.5 BB9.
Outfielder Alberto Rodriguez, 21, could be the gem of this deal. He had a combined .289/.379/.470 line with five triples, 10 home runs, 65 RBIs and an 8.1% walk rate across Low-A and High-A last season and is slashing .240/.312/.355 at High-A this year.
Kansas City will be a seller at this year’s trade deadline. Four deals could significantly improve their resources.