The Nationals and other teams have called the Royals about star closer Wade Davis, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports. Kansas City is weighing the possibility of selling at the trade deadline, Heyman reported yesterday, though even if the Royals did decide to reload for next season, it would take quite a bit to convince them to part with Davis. The Royals are asking for more for Davis than the Yankees are for Aroldis Chapman, which makes sense given that Davis has an extra year of control.
Washington is known to be looking for bullpen help, either to set up closer Jonathan Papelbon or to supplant Papelbon entirely as the team’s ninth-inning option. Chapman and Miller have both been targeted by the Nats, though they aren’t willing to give up one of their top prospects for two months of Chapman’s services. (It’s worth noting that Miller is signed through 2018, though presumably the Nats have some reservations about dealing one of their elite minor leaguers for any relief pitcher.)
Davis has a $10MM club option ($2.5MM buyout) for 2017 that looks like a no-brainer to be exercised, though there are a few minor red flags about his performance. Davis has a 1.14 ERA over 31 2/3 IP, though he has posted his lowest K/9 (8.5) and K/BB (2.5 K/BB) in his three years as the Royals’ closer, plus his fastball velocity has dropped from 95.9 mph last season to 94.9 mph this year. These aren’t exactly steep declines, of course, and it may speak more to just how dominant Davis was in 2014-15 that his current excellent numbers count as a dip in form. Davis recently spent time on the DL with a right forearm strain, though that ominous-sounding injury ended up being rather minor, and Davis is already back in action.