Pitcher Scott Barlow
I have already made my thoughts known on Barlow's future ahead of the trade deadline. Unlike Keller, the Royals need to squeeze any remaining value out of Barlow that they can. Several contenders can use a reliable relief arm, and Barlow has been that for years. On top of that, Barlow has club control through the 2024 season, which should significantly raise his value. With the Royals in a rebuilding phase, it would make sense for them to explore potential trades for Barlow and acquire prospects or young talent in return. Additionally, Barlow's consistent performance and affordable contract make him an attractive asset for teams looking to bolster their bullpen for a playoff push.
Royals fans should be feeling a bit better about Barlow's possible return after the Braves traded for Pierce Johnson, a reliever with a lower track record and less club control. Atlanta sent two top-30 prospects to the Colorado Rockies for Johnson, who is a season away from very good production. If a player noticeably worse on the diamond with less control than Barlow can net that return, what could the Royals get? There are plenty of clubs that could use his services ahead of the 2023 postseason and then some in the 2024 season. MLB teams know the trade landscape better than I could ever, but a small bidding war for Barlow is not impossible.
Royals fans are not wrong for reminiscing about trading Barlow in 2019 or 2020, when his value was the highest. But those days are certainly past. All Picollo can do now is right some of Moore's wrongs. A great step forward would be getting Barlow out of Kansas City and onto a competitive squad, where a player of his caliber belongs.