The KC Royals are officially open for business. The team recently traded Carlos Santana and signs point to a more aggressive trade deadline approach than fans have seen in recent years. Indeed, the Royals and Yankees have reportedly been in talks about a potential Andrew Benintendi trade.
Although Kansas City’s farm system has supplemented the major league roster with some promising young talent, the time has come to pull the trigger on a couple of trades that could change the direction of the franchise.
A possible change of approach is a promising development for KC Royals fans.
Kansas City was able to pull such triggers in the years before its 2015 championship campaign with the Zack Greinke and James Shields trades. If the Royals can capitalize on their valuable trade assets now, they could hope to compete as early as next season.
Otherwise, they risk losing a contract year player like Benintendi to free agency without reaping any talent in return, so it’s logically better to trade such a player before the trade deadline.
As J.J. Picollo gears up for the deadline—his first as Kansas City’s general manager since being promoted to the position last September—he discussed his approach on 610Sports Radio:
"“I tend to be a little bit more, along with other people in our office, a little bit more aggressive,” he said. “You like to keep in communication with other teams. It’s just good to know the landscape of what teams are thinking, where they want to go, and for them to know what we’re thinking. So we try to keep an open dialogue with several teams.”"
If it happens, this potential change in approach should be a welcome sight to Kansas City fans desperate to see the team in contention. Another Royal—Scott Barlow—is under contract for much longer than Benintendi and could carry a surprising amount of value into this year’s trade deadline.