July 13 - KC Royals trade Mike Mayers to Chicago for cash.
Remember when Mike Mayers was the savior of Kansas City's pitching woes? His quality start against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 29 bought him plenty of goodwill amongst fans, but that did not help the on-field results. He had a 6.15 ERA across 26 1/3 innings for the Royals, accruing a 1.67 WHIP in six games.
The Royals designated him for assignment on June 18, then sent him outright to Triple-A Omaha. The 31-year-old veteran did not look good against that competition either, with a 5.60 FIP and 6.80 ERA in 12 appearances. For some reason, the Chicago White Sox traded for Mayers. He never played with the MLB team, going 1-4 with a 5.29 ERA and 5.72 FIP in 16 appearances.
Mayers was not a solution for Kansas City or Omaha, and it astounds me that the Royals even got a cent for him.
June 30 - KC Royals trade Aroldis Chapman to Texas for Cole Ragans and Roni Cabrera
You knew this one was coming. Frankly, I don't want to spend too much time on this one. Cole Ragans' performance has been broken down time and time again. He was one of the best starters in MLB in the season's second half, plus won AL Pitcher of the Month honors in August. Let's look in on the other two members of this trade.
Aroldis Chapman came to Kansas City on a mercenary's deal. He was already a prime trade candidate before he threw a pitch in Kansas City. The Royals pulled the trigger early on moving Chapman to the Texas Rangers. Chapman was not nearly the same player for Texas in his 30 appearances.
The 15.52 K/9 remained elite, but he suffered from giving up too many home runs. He was a 1.3 WAR pitcher in 31 games for Kansas City. He was worth only .5 WAR for Texas in nearly the same amount of time. He was still a good reliever, but not the fringe All-Star performer he was in Kansas City. But, Texas is in the postseason so maybe Chapman will shine brightest when it matters most.
Roni Cabrera is still in lottery ticket status, being only 18 on the DSL. He was still a plus-batter, posting a 104 wRC+ in 22 games since joining the Royals. FanGraphs described Cabrera as "an interesting low-level flier with relevant pull-pop and a prototypical corner outfield frame." I imagine he starts the 2024 season above the DSL to challenge him at the plate.
You already know this grade. Arguably the biggest trade win in recent Royals history.