Trevor Rosenthal and other Royals relievers are already drawing interest from trade suitors, though GM Dayton Moore hasn’t ruled out being a deadline buyer. “We wouldn’t hesitate to add to this team,” Moore told Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star. “This team is talented enough to be one of eight teams representing the American League in the playoffs….So I’m not even beginning to think about dismantling or moving players that help us win at this point. I believe that this group of players is extremely talented and very much capable of being a playoff team.”
The Royals are last in the AL Central with an 11-18 record, and they sit four games back of the Blue Jays for the last AL wild card slot. While they’d have to leapfrog a lot of teams to cross the postseason line, even one brief winning streak could greatly improve Kansas City’s chances in the shortened season. As Worthy notes, the Royals haven’t yet had their entire ideal roster together at one time, as multiple key players have been sidelined due to injuries and COVID-19. It doesn’t seem likely that K.C. will make any kind of big deadline push, though those expecting a mini-fire sale might also be disappointed.
More trade buzz from around the league…
- There is no doubt that the Rays are planning on being deadline buyers, as ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweets that “other teams say the Rays are being very aggressive in” trade talks. It stands to reason that Tampa Bay is targeting pitching given all of their injured arms, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rays swing some creative deals to address multiple needs. In July 2019, for instance, Tampa landed Nick Anderson, Trevor Richards, Eric Sogard, and Jesus Aguilar in separate deals with the Marlins, Blue Jays, and Brewers respectively, while five other lower-level trades were also consummated.
- The Red Sox are willing to include some money to accommodate trades, Sean McAdam of the Boston Sports Journal writes (subscription required). We’ve already seen the Sox kick in $815K to the Phillies as part of the Brandon Workman/Heath Hembree trade last weekend, and McAdam speculates that Boston could potentially eat larger sums for higher-paid players like J.D. Martinez, Nathan Eovaldi, or Christian Vazquez in order to land a better prospect return.
- Though the Angels’ 9-21 record is the worst in the American League, their approach at the trade deadline could be impacted by front office uncertainty, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman said in an appearance on the MLB Network (video link). “There is probably not a general manager on thinner ice…right now than Billy Eppler,” Sherman notes, as the Halos are looking at their fifth straight losing season in Eppler’s five-year tenure. Since Eppler’s contract is up after the season, Sherman wonders if the GM would have the green light to trade anything beyond rental players. Dylan Bundy and Andrew Heaney, for instance, would draw a lot of trade interest if shopped, though both pitchers are also arbitration-controlled through 2021 and the Angels plan to contend next season.
- The Orioles have a .500 record and are in the mix for a playoff berth, though both The Athletic’s Dan Connolly and the Baltimore Sun’s Jon Meoli figure that the team isn’t likely to make any splashy rental acquisitions. As Connolly puts it, “general manager Mike Elias is focused on his big-picture plan and he’s not going to alter that for the immediate gratification of a seventh or eighth seed in a short season.” Meoli, meanwhile, wonders if the O’s will be particularly active either as a buyer or seller at the deadline, noting that Elias didn’t swing many significant deals at the 2019 trade deadline and instead waited until the offseason to move the likes of Bundy and Jonathan Villar. Between many teams’ uncertain financial situations and the lack of many defined buyers or sellers, there might even more reason this year for the Orioles to hold off until the winter.