I received a request for some Royals action here at MLBTR. I thought to myself, who better to fill us in than Craig Brown of Royals Authority and Heater Magazine? Craig obliged, and his Royals trade rumor update follows.
It’s a new season, but the results are the same in Kansas City as once again the Royals are struggling to win games in April. The slow start means trade talk will begin sooner rather than later. But despite the struggles, the Royals feel they’re headed in the right direction with a solid nucleus of young ballplayers. The trade options will be limited to the few remaining veterans on the roster.
As the season rolls on, more and more teams will be paying attention to Reggie Sanders. Sanders, who was linked to a deal with the Orioles in spring training, is off to a good start in a part time role hitting .391/.440/.696. Although the Baltimore deal fizzled out, there’s still some interest as the Orioles would like to add a right-handed power bat to their thin bench. Sanders has no problem coming off the bench, but would like to do it for a contender. Other teams that could be in the market include Toronto, St. Louis or even the Angels.
Other than Sanders, it’s been relatively dry on the rumor front. But keep an eye on Emil Brown. Another member of the Royals crowded outfield, Brown will come cheap (he’s due $3.4 million for 2007) and has a consistent track record over the last two seasons. He’s gained a reputation as a defensive liability, so he could appeal to a contender looking for a right-handed bat for the bench. If the Royals are asking too much for Sanders, Brown could be Plan B.
One name that seems to come up in trade rumors every year is Mike Sweeney. Unfortunately, Iron Mike’s bad back and hefty salary have put the kibosh on any prospective deal. He’s stayed healthy so far (no small feat) but has struggled at the plate, hitting just .162/.238/.162. At this point, it looks like he’ll play out the season in Kansas City before hitting the free agent market this winter. If Sweeney gets dealt, it will be to a team in the AL since his back keeps him off the field.
Don’t look for any deals that include the Royals giving up any pitching. GM Dayton Moore’s first priority since taking the job last summer has been restocking the team and system with arms. He’s made some progress, but it’s still a thin staff and with pitching at a premium, it wouldn’t make sense for the Royals to let go of any of their pitchers.