Major League Baseball’s July 31 non-waiver trade deadline is fast approaching and, once again, the Kansas City Royals appear to not be in the position of being buyers in anticipation of a lengthy, late-season playoff push.
While any move would certainly be to bolster their dreadful starting rotation going into the 2013 season, to reel in a big name would further deplete their minor league system, once regarded as the best in all of baseball until the likes of Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Danny Duffy eventually punched their tickets to Kansas City.
General manager Dayton Moore must capitalize on this particular window of opportunity soon or he will be in danger of losing his job, while the team will be at risk of losing a fanbase that has been slowly slipping away for the better part of two decades.
With a young, talented bullpen and most of their position players in place, the Royals must exhaust all of their resources to bring in front-line starting pitchers before next season. But acquiring anyone of relevance via trade could prove costly, assuming that Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi—two key players going forward—will be the popular names muttered by teams in trade discussions.
The Royals would be forced to part with significant pieces from their next wave of talent or those needed to help bridge the gap to prevent future substandard seasons. But trading for established players would be easier than trying to lure them to Kansas City via free agency, as the front office cannot compete with the deeper pockets across the league.
If the Royals are compelled to ship off coveted prospects for proven, top-of-the-rotation arms, they do have players on the current roster that can help restock the cupboard, or at the very least prevent it from emptying out entirely.
Closer Jonathan Broxton, rumored to be targeted by the New York Mets, would more than likely return the most in a trade, but could also be brought back in case the Royals are concerned about the future of Joakim Soria. But with an assembly of live, young arms in the bullpen already, the Royals would be foolish to not strike while the iron is hot with Broxton.
Other Royals that could be of service in providing stability to other clubs are outfielder Jeff Francoeur, second baseman Chris Getz and starting pitchers Bruce Chen and Luis Mendoza.
If a player doesn’t serve a specific purpose for the organization’s immediate future, the Royals need to get what they can for them and fill in the holes with players that provide the ability to consistently win right now.
The entire Royals organization must go all-in for the 2013 season. A by-any-means-necessary approach should be taken in order to create a winning atmosphere or baseball in Kansas City will hit rock bottom, assuming it hasn’t already.
Major League Baseball is a business. Some will be left behind while those remaining will have to grow up on the fly and emerge as leaders.
The Royals are in a unique position to be both buyers and sellers over the next couple of weeks. Any and all moves that help the organization elbow its way up the cellar stairs and onto the main floor will be received positively by fans.
So far Moore’s blueprint hasn’t panned out. Is his process flawed? Only time will tell, which is exactly what Moore, the Royals and baseball in Kansas City are running out of.