KC Royals trade Lovelady, Beaty ahead of 2023 season start

KC Royals Richard Lovelady
KC Royals Richard Lovelady / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The KC Royals had just opened the parking lot for anxious fans ahead of the season's first game against the Minnesota Twins, on Mar. 30. But, the team had some more roster moves in store. The Royals traded away pitcher Richard Lovelady and infielder Matt Beaty for cash considerations to two NL teams. The moves were announced less than 30 minutes apart, kicking off the day with some surprising transactions.

The KC Royals traded away pitcher Richard Lovelady and Matt Beaty on Opening Day morning.

The Atlanta Braves traded for Lovelady, adding him to their 40-man roster as well. Atlanta optioned the lefty reliever to Triple-A Gwinnett, according to MLB Trade Rumors. The 27-year-old Lovelady spent his entire professional career in the Royals organization and debuted in the 2019 season. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2021 and returned to minor-league action last season. Royals general manage J.J. Picollo spoke on the Lovelady trade ahead of Opening Day.

"We have some depth left-handed. He had a really good spring. We know better are ahead for him. The velocity is going to continue to increase. But we knew we were going to have to make a decision when we decided to add three guys to the roster."

Royals general manager J.J. Picollo

Royals fans expected Lovelady to stay in Kansas City, after eight shutout innings in spring training this season. He did not walk a single batter in eight games while recording an 11.3 K/9. Lovelady did tweet out his frustration after the Royals optioned him to Triple-A Omaha, along with Josh Staumont and Josh Taylor.

The San Francisco Giants traded for Beaty and subsequently added him to their 40-man roster. He will start the season in San Francisco on Opening Day, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Beaty came to Kansas City on a minor league deal this offseason, more than ten years after the team drafted him in the 48th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. He appeared in 13 spring training games in 2023, recording a 1.007 OPS and two home runs for the Royals.

Both players were fringe 40-man players, supported by the team's treatment of them ahead of Opening Day. The Lovelady trade opens up a 40-man roster spot, one the team needed to add an impressive non-roster invitee from the spring training roster. Infielder Matt Duffy and outfielder Franmil Reyes are two such players. The roster crunch is an unfortunate part of MLB, but a part nonetheless.

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