Royals closer Wade Davis is flying back to Kansas City to undergo an MRI on his right elbow, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan tweets that the MRI is to examine Davis’ forearm, though regardless of the specific portion of the arm that is being checked out, the test is still an ominous bit of news out of Kansas City. Casey Jones first tweeted that Davis was flying back to K.C. for an examination.
Davis, 30, has seen his name pop up frequently in trade rumors over the past week as the Royals have reportedly begun to consider selling veteran pieces prior to Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline. The uncertainty around his elbow now, however, would seem to all but eliminate the already minimal chances of Davis being moved. Even if the MRI yields positive results, it’d be difficult for a club to meet Kansas City’s exceptionally high asking price just a day or two after the MRI.
Reports over the past week have suggested that the Royals sought names like Lucas Giolito from the Nationals in trade talks or hoped to package Ian Kennedy and the remaining $62.5MM on his contract with Davis in trade talks. That would indicate a daunting asking price even if Davis were healthy and in top form on the mound, but now it looks that neither of those is the case. While Davis has a terrific 1.60 ERA and 21 saves on the season, he’s averaging just 8.6 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 after averaging 12.1 K/0 and 2.8 BB/9 from 2014-15 with Kansas City. His velocity, while still a strong 94.9 mph, is down a full mile per hour from last season as well.
Davis spent two weeks on the disabled list with a forearm strain earlier this month, making the news of an MRI all the more troubling for the Royals. The two-time All-Star, who has a 1.09 ERA in 173 regular season innings out of the Royals’ bullpen since 2014, is earning $8MM this year and has a $10MM club option for the 2017 season.