The Royals sit at 29-37, seven games out and in fourth place in the AL Central. The offense has been respectable, but the rotation has not. GM Dayton Moore moved a couple of veterans with expiring contracts at last year's deadline in Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth; let's see who might be on the trade block this summer.
- Jeff Francis (pictured) is the team's nominal ace; he owns a 4.40 ERA in 14 starts, and his peripheral stats mostly support that ERA despite a low strikeout rate. With a $2MM salary and $2MM in incentives, Francis would fit into any team's budget. However, the Royals may not be inclined to subtract him from what is already the league's worst rotation. If you're wondering about draft pick compensation, Francis is nowhere near Type B.
- Kyle Davies and Bruce Chen are both on the DL currently, though they could return within a week. Neither pitcher would really bolster a contender's rotation except perhaps at the fifth spot. At best, the Royals could try to dump their salaries at the deadline to save about $1.7MM.
- Jason Kendall is currently on the 60-day DL recovering from September shoulder surgery, so the Royals would need to clear a 40-man roster spot to activate him. He could be back in mid-July. Like Davies and Chen, the only reason to trade him is to save a little money. Backup catcher Matt Treanor could be expendable, though he won't bring much in return.
- Jeff Francoeur has some power, hitting .275/.316/.462 on the season. As an affordable player who hits lefties, Francoeur would make sense for the Phillies. The trade return would be minimal, I'd imagine, but maybe Moore could package him with Francis for some club in the vein of last year's deadline deal.
- Melky Cabrera comes with the mild incentive of being arbitration eligible after the season. He's showing good pop with a .453 slugging percentage, and makes just $1.25MM. He's also capable of playing center field.
- Wilson Betemit is useful as well, as he can play all around the infield and is hitting .289/.348/.411 on the season. He's cheap, too. The Marlins were said to be tracking him last month.
- We've covered the Athletics, Cubs, Padres, Pirates, Twins, and Astros as potential sellers previously.