As we approach the trading deadline, teams like the Royals (along with the Phillies and Mariners) must decide not only what might be in their best long-term baseball interest, but also in their best business interest, ESPN's Buster Olney writes (insider-only). That means considering that, by selling in July, they would effectively be telling their fanbases that the season is over. Olney suggests that for a team like the Royals, who haven't made the playoffs since 1985, that might be difficult to do. Here's more out of Kansas City.
- The Royals should trade not only Ervin Santana, but also one or both of relievers Greg Holland and Luke Hochevar, Rob Neyer of SB Nation writes. The Royals, currently seven games out in the AL Central, have very slim odds of reaching the playoffs, and Neyer points out that top-performing relievers tend not to remain so for long. The way Holland eventually replaced former top closer Joakim Soria demonstrates how relievers are, at least in the long run, replaceable.
- The Royals won't be dealing Santana unless they get "something we can't refuse," a club official tells Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter). As we noted earlier today, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal recently tweeted that the Royals could be shooting for an even better return than the one the Cubs got for Matt Garza. Dutton guesses that the Royals would particularly be interested in a second baseman or right fielder who solidify one of those positions for the next several years. Santana, who becomes a free agent after the season, currently has a 3.06 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 138 1/3 innings.