The major league trade deadline looms larger by the day. The narrowing window to make deals ends at 5 p.m. CDT Aug. 2 but, at this writing, the KC Royals haven’t done a thing. And that’s despite wide and heavy speculation they’ll trade Andrew Benintendi, and maybe even Whit Merrifield.
The Royals’ transaction silence isn’t deafening, but it’s getting louder.
Is that cause for concern?
Probably not. At least for the moment, inaction is the rule, not the exception—some isolated deals have been consummated around the majors, but nothing earth-shattering, or even “big.” Kansas City simply isn’t alone in what seems to be a deliberate approach to this season’s deadline.
Likely to happen, perhaps any minute, though, is a domino effect-triggering significant trade that kick starts the real deal making. Follow in short order will be other major moves; look for Benintendi to be gone soon, perhaps to the Yankees who, despite Benintendi’s vaccination status which presumably still prohibits him entering Canada—where New York has three more games this season—reportedly still have interest in him:
What happens to Merrifield, whose vaccination status also presumably still bars him from playing in Toronto, remains to be seen. The Royals haven’t seemed seriously interested in trading him in past seasons, but his recent reported statement suggesting his vaccination status might change if he played for a contender may give the club a different outlook.
A victory today would be a perfect birthday gift for this KC Royals pitcher.
Starter Brad Keller heads to the mound today seeking a win in Kansas City’s series rubber game with the Angels.
He’ll be pitching on his birthday:
Keller, now 27, is searching for his sixth win of the season and fourth in July. Beating the Angels would give him a two-win lead over teammates Brady Singer, Scott Barlow, and Collin Snider, all of whom have won four times.
The rapidly-improving Keller is 3-1 with a 3.57 ERA in four starts this month.
KC Royals All-Star catcher Salvador Perez is playing baseball again.
Salvador Perez, sidelined since late June after undergoing surgery for a thumb UCL tear the Royals thought would keep him out for possibly eight weeks, is back in action just a month later.
Perez began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Omaha Wednesday night and, in his first at-bat, drilled a double into the right field corner off Syracuse’s Tim Adleman. Perez also singled twice, scored a run, and finished 3-for-4.
Also performing well for the Storm Chasers was Kansas City starter Daniel Lynch, whose second bout with blisters this season has him rehabbing with Perez. Lynch struck out six, walked no one, and surrendered just a run and two hits in his four-inning start.
Perez and Lynch weren’t battery mates Wednesday—Freddy Fermin caught Lynch while Perez served as Omaha’s designated hitter.
The KC Royals have placed one of its promising starters on the Injured List.
Ángel Zerpa, the talented young lefthander who seemed on the verge of breaking into Kansas City’s rotation on a permanent basis after winning his last two starts, landed on the Injured List this morning. Per mlb.com KC beat writer Anne Rogers:
Zerpa, 22, earned his first major league win July 11 against Detroit, then beat Toronto July 14 and limited the Angels to one run in four innings Wednesday night before leaving in the fifth with a knee issue.
Today’s series and homestand finale with the Angels begins at 1:10 p.m. CDT.