3 KC Royals who won’t survive on 40-man roster past MLB trade deadline

Kansas City has some transparent needs this coming trade deadline. Could these players help their trade chases?
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LHP Jake Brentz

I hate to say it, but this feels like a no-brainer. Reliever Jake Brentz should be the next man off the Royals 40-man roster, no matter the reason. He had a promising start to his MLB career, but that dates back to the 2021 season. The velocity wowed fans, and a possible return of Kansas City's relief dominance tickled the imagination. That imagination and shock value only get a ball player so far. Unfortunately, injuries have sapped Brentz's once-bright future in Kansas City.

Tommy John surgery and then a lat strain kept him out of the majors since April 29, 2022, but 2024 was supposed to be his big return. Following a full season of rehab, Brentz talked with Kansas City Star reporter Jaylon Thompson about ($) how he could "go out there and give it [his] all" this spring.

Sadly, the Arizona desert had other plans in store.

Brentz suffered a Grade 2 left hamstring strain during spring training action against the Milwaukee Brewers. Royals manager Matt Quatraro described Brentz's latest injury chapter ($) as "demoralizing," but that is putting it lightly. Now, Brentz was once again on the sidelines with a new injury to rehab and more ground to gain.

The lefty has pitched 12 innings this season, split evenly across Triple-A Omaha and Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Unfortunately, Brentz's struggles have followed him wherever he has gone in 2024. He hasn't allowed many hits this season (only three since May 19), but his walking problem has grown legs and run. He has 27 walks compared to only 11 strikeouts, a massive disparity. He is struggling to put the ball over the plate and regain some of the control he had at the MLB level.

Royals fans have undoubtedly heard about Brentz's hard rehab, and no one likes seeing the injury bug hit players for this long. But there comes a time when Kansas City should move on from his 40-man roster spot. Whether it be a dazzling replacement from the Royals farm or a trade acquisition, Brentz's spot is very much in jeopardy.