The Royals are beginning to engage in some preliminary chatter with rivals in advance of the summer trade deadline, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. Of course, that does not mean that any near-term dealing ought to be anticipated.
While GM Dayton Moore recently suggested the club would not make any decisions until the deadline is at hand, he struck a somewhat different tone in commenting for this report. Moore tells Heyman that, “when a team isn’t performing as well as they’d like, it makes sense to be open-minded concerning trade scenarios.”
To be sure, Moore also noted that he “wouldn’t say we are moving quickly on the trade front.” But it does seem that the preparatory work is underway to facilitate some degree of deadline sell-off. That’s hardly surprising given the Royals’ miserable 16-33 start and basement-dwelling status in the game’s worst division.
Surely, the Royals’ slate of pending free agents — including, most prominently, closer Kelvin Herrera and third baseman Mike Moustakas but also Jon Jay, Lucas Duda, Alcides Escobar, and Drew Butera — will be on the table. But the report indicates, and Moore seemingly affirms, that there’ll be at least a willingness to consider more than pure rental pieces.
It would remain stunning if the K.C. organization considered anything involving backstop Salvador Perez; frankly, there’s no reason at all to think he’d be available. Otherwise, the roster is not exactly loaded with established, high-performing, still-youthful assets. That said, 29-year-old second baseman Whit Merrifield is again hitting well and might be an interesting piece for a contender, though the asking price will surely reflect his solid play and remaining cheap control.
There are some other interesting pieces on hand, to be sure. But younger and/or less-established players such as starter Jakob Junis, reliever Brad Keller, and outfielder Jorge Soler don’t really seem like traditional deadline targets. Meanwhile, the team’s slate of higher-priced veterans on lengthier and larger contracts are not performing to their rates of pay.