The KC Royals already kicked off their MLB trade deadline when they traded veteran reliever Aroldis Chapman to the Texas Rangers. The trade return in that deal for pitcher Cole Ragans and outfielder Roni Cabrera was very straightforward. Ragans, a player who can help the Royals now, has already made his debut with the team. Meanwhile, the 17-year-old Cabrera is raking in the Dominican Summer League and could be a legit prospect in the coming years. The Royals should be targeting returns involving such players more as the trade deadline goes along. Another trade chip they can use to acquire more MLB-ready talent or lottery tickets is certainly pitcher Scott Barlow.
Where could the KC Royals move Scott Barlow ahead of the trade deadline?
Barlow, a former Los Angeles Dodgers prospect, signed as a minor-league free agent with the Royals in 2017. He made his MLB debut with the club the following season, and the rest is history. Between his longevity and elite production, Barlow is the most notable Royals reliever since the Herrera-Davis-Holland days. He peaked in the 2021 season, recording a 2.63 FIP and 2.1 WAR, which are both career bests for him.
Ever since that season, Barlow has been a perennial trade candidate. His production in 2022 and 2023 pales in comparison to the previous season, but he is a reliable right out of the bullpen. Any contender can use a player fitting that profile. Since it is that time of year, what teams could trade for Barlow ahead of their postseason push?
Honorable Mentions: San Diego Padres, Miami Marlins