As I have previously suggested, the Kansas City Royals are in need of a shortstop, a left-handed starter and an All-star bat. These elements still elude the boys in blue and may have to wait for the offseason.
In order to improve this seasons club, the Royals and Dayton Moore may have to be a little more creative.
The New York Mets have a payroll just under $150 million this season, and are struggling to keep pace with the Phils. With late season meltdowns fresh in their minds, Omar Minaya decided to address their biggest deficiency this past off season— the bullpen.
He shelled out enormous sums to land both JJ Puts and Francisco Rodriguez. So far, K-Rod has been up to snuff, but his set-up man is floundering at 1-4, 4.76 ERA, 19:19 K:BB.
While the Royals bullpen has been garbage lately, they do have pieces that could be very attractive to the Mets.
The Mets have extra outfielders since the signing of Jeremy Reed and re-emergence of Gary Sheffield, which subsequently put Ryan Church into a partial platoon role.
The Royals need a better defender on the right side of the field (either 1B, 2B or RF) without losing offensive production.
The Royals should trade for Ryan Church and offer up Juan Cruz. True, Church is currently nursing a sore hammy (15-day variety) and the Mets interest in dealing the hard nosed outfielder is unknown. Still, the trade would assist both sides considerably.
In this scenario, the Mets would alleviate some of the pressure on Putz and have a 7-8-9 inning that reads Putz-Cruz-Rodriguez. That's nasty!
The Kansas City Royals can adjust their lineup in the following way:
A couple notes
1) You'll notice Alex Gordon isn't even mentioned here despite his probable late-August return.
He should be relegated to Omaha to find his stroke or in a reserve role.
2) By replacing Guillen in RF with Church, Butler and Callaspo's poor infield defense can be hidden a bit. Watching Butler, Callaspo and Guillen chase after a blooper in short right is downright disgusting.
Sure, Jacobs and Guillen possess the strongest bats in the lineup, but this team is built on pitching. Also, the defense needs to cover some holes if they expect to win with that formula.
This also leaves a quality bat to come off the bench in late game, high-pressure situations.