Getting something (or anything) in exchange for starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez should be considered no small feat—he was traded on July 20 to the Colorado Rockies for starter Jeremy Guthrie—for the Kansas City Royals.
But, moral victories can’t be cashed in at the end of the week for tallies in the win column, as 2012 has looked more like the last couple of decades than what is widely expected of the franchise over the next few seasons.
However, as growing pains—and real pains, with injuries playing a huge part in how the season has unfolded—mount, gathering moral triumphs and trudging ahead towards the future is all this young team has to grasp onto right now.
With most of the everyday lineup in place—or at least a solid idea in place as to how it should look in 2013—now is the time to shed the dead weight and let the roster of the future live and learn together in Kansas City.
At this point, it honestly doesn’t matter what the Royals can get in return for Jeff Francoeur or Yuniesky Betancourt. Opening up roster spots for prospects Wil Myers and Johnny Giavotella is far more important than worrying about what mid-level prospect they can plug the holes with in the farm system.
Even if owner David Glass has to take on some of Francoeur’s 2013 salary (due to the horrible decision by general manager Dayton Moore to sign him to a two-year, $13.5 million extension through next season), shipping him to any team and immediately calling up Myers could help revive interest from the fans again—something that has been lacking since the All-Star caravan left town.
Closer Jonathan Broxton looks to draw the most interest leading up to tomorrow’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline. But, if Moore is too greedy, it could stifle the possibility of bringing anything of substance back to the Royals.
However, with a crowd of capable arms that could replace him at the back end of the bullpen—and with Joakim Soria hopefully making a healthy return next season—even unloading Broxton for merely a body sounds enticing at this point.
What the Royals’ front office must understand is that being able to replace Francoeur, Betancourt and Broxton with players that the fans are excited about has to be part of the equation in the attempts to remove them from the roster. While it probably won’t translate into much in the win column, it validates the process in that the team and city can live and die with players considered to be part of the future.
Regardless of who is on the other end of any deal, Moore cannot sit idly by prior to tomorrow’s deadline. If certain players aren’t subtracted and others added to the roster come Wednesday, the Royals could be in severe risk of losing their fans for a very long time.