The Royals have gone back and forth between feeling like buyers and sellers every other game, it seems. With the trade deadline coming closer and closer, the Royals will be deciding very soon which side of the fence they stand on (I hope).
At the moment, the Royals look like they intend to go for another run at the championship. They currently sit 3rd in the AL Central, 4 games back from AL leaders, the Cleveland Indians. The Minnesota Twins, in second, hold a very small lead over the Royals, but I expect Minnesota to lose that advantage quickly. The Twins have only raw power coupled with horrendous pitching. It’s just not gonna happen this year, boys.
The tricky part is that the Royals will have to secure the AL Central as their own in order to make it to the playoffs. The Wildcard spot is basically out of the question thanks to the AL East being annoyingly good at baseball. The Royals are only 2 games from a WC spot, but there are 5 teams to jump to get in. One of which would be the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees or Tampa Bay Rays. The Royals could theoretically make that happen, but probably won’t.
The Royals just picked up Neftali Feliz. Feliz was a reliever for the Brewers this year that showed promise to start the season, then completely tanked over the last month. Feliz throws pretty hard at 96 mph and could complement Herrera and Soria well. The Royals adding this depth to their ‘pen gives a serious “we’re here to play” impression.
However…there are many rumors about the Red Sox and Yankees sniffing around Mike Moustakas. The Red Sox are in dire need of a 3rd baseman. It’s no surprise that the skinny Pablo Sandoval experiment has not been working and he has now landed himself on the DL. The Yankees just want to screw the Red Sox over–like they need more HR power with Aaron Judge on their team. Moose would be an excellent fit with either team as both teams’ stadiums have a short right field porch.
The Royals do have Cheslor Cuthbert up and ready to take over at third. Defensively, Cuthbert is ready to roll. Offensively, he’s surviving, but that’s not enough to replace Moose’s 19 home runs. It’s also highly unlikely that the Royals would get any equivalent return for Moose that is major league ready. Moose puts the Royals in a pretty pickle. They can get a lot for the talented slugger if they trade him now, but it would also signify the end of their 2017 run, meaning they’d need to get Hos and Cain out to teams as well.
Even at the beginning of the season when Hos couldn’t hit a ball past the infield to save his life and when Brandon Moss made a better bat boy than DH, I didn’t think the Royals would sell this year. Which is stupid. But, I am not responsible for a million dollar franchise day in and day out. I don’t get to cast stones. Now that the team is doing better and within spitting distance of the leaders in the league, I definitely don’t expect the Royals to sell. We notoriously come out of the All-Star Break rested and winning. I expect the Royals brass will be counting on that to be enough to propel us to the playoffs.
My stomach is turning at the thought of all of the players and money the Royals could get for Cain, Hos, and Moose, but I, too, say give it one last run.
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