KC Royals: 2 players who will be traded this season

Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
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Pitcher Aroldis Chapman

Let's get the obvious one out of the way. Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported that the Royals are getting early trade interest in  reliever Aroldis Chapman on May 10. It is easy to understand why because the seven-time All-Star is dealing to start 2023.

Chapman has 14 appearances out of the Royals bullpen with good results. He has allowed only four earned runs in 14 games, posting a 1.1 WHIP. His 38.5% strikeout rate checks in eighth among qualified relievers this season. Opposing batters continue to swing and miss on Chapman's offerings, evident by the 15th-best swinging strike rate in baseball. Chapman has rebounded from a tough 2022 season and could be the hottest arm ahead of the MLB trade deadline.

The 35-year-old Chapman does not fit into the Royals' competitive plans and will be a free agent once again after this season. He is on a one-year, $3.75 million guaranteed contract, with up to $5 million in incentives. The Royals likely knew they would flip Chapman at the deadline this season, no matter what. It just looks like a smarter move now because Chapman is doing so well. Here is hoping he continues performing well and stays healthy, increasing his trade value in the process.