Should the Royals be sellers or buyers as MLB trade deadline approaches?

Royals trade

With the trading deadline looming at the end of the month, Royals General Manager Dayton Moore will face some key decisions that will determine the Royals future not only for this season, but could impact the franchise for the next several years.

Everyone knows the Royals list of potential free agents – third baseman Mike Moustakas, first baseman Eric Hosmer, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcides Escobar and left-handers Jason Vargas and Mike Minor. Trade several of those and the Royals should be able to get back a boatload of prospects, many nearly Major League-ready.

Moore does not anticipate he will lose all on the above list, but will able to sign some. He also is realistic enough to know there is no way they will all be in a Royals’ uniform when spring training starts.

After a horrific April, ending with nine consecutive defeats, and a glorified June, an American League-best 17-9 record, the Royals have played their way back into contention for a wildcard and into the American League Central race.

They went from 10-games below .500 on May 7 to two-games above .500 going into July 4. They went 32-20 in that stretch, 12-games above .500.

All the baseball world thought in May that Moore would be wheeling and dealing, getting rid of veteran players from the World Series clubs that are about to become free agents.

That has changed. Over his time in Kansas City, I’ve learned Moore has the patience of Job. He does not make rash decisions or rush to the phone to play, “Deal or No Deal.” He was in no hurry to deal in May and that paid off with the team starting to play up their talent level in June.

And in early July they got Danny Duffy back on the mound after he missed five weeks with a pulled oblique. Another plus for a second-half run.

If the Royals play well in July, Moore could be trying to add a piece or two to the puzzle, instead of subtracting. It could be a 180-degree reversal, seller to buyer.

No one knows the future, but what if the Royals fail to win the division? Or they are a wildcard qualifier, but lose the one-and-done game? If that occurs, while they hold onto all their above 2017 free agent class, the chance to restock the farm system via trades is gone.

Unless the Royals go through a seven-game losing streak or fall five or more games below .500 near the end of the month to play themselves out of contention, don’t expect Moore to be a seller.

“Keep the band together,” Hosmer is fond of saying.

Moore will probably do that and go for it all one more time with this talented group.

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Article by Alan Eskew

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