The Playoff Bound Royals, Part Three: Sometimes Doing Nothing is the Best Thing

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. The Royals had managed to lose five straight in particularly demoralizing fashion just before the all star break. That was it. Season over. Another season wondering where and how it all went wrong.

Then Ervin Santana got a Twitter account.

From the greatest idea of all time in suggesting a game of dodgeball between pitchers at next year’s all star game, to constant “#thesecondhalfisours” hashtags, to his humor towards the trade rumors that surround him, he is the best follow on Twitter right now. Obviously he did not trigger the 8-2 post break record, but still, it does seem a fire has been lit under these Royals. And fortunately, he has virtually been taken off the trading block.

They have won six in a row, and send their three best pitchers against the Twins over the next three days (Santana, Jeremy Guthrie, and James Shields, in that order); they are looking to go above .500 for the first time since May 18. This winning trend, while awesome, sure does make one thing complicated: the trade deadline.

I have written previously, and it is obvious even to Stevie Wonder, that Alcides Escobar cannot hit the broad side of a barn this year. I know he had that walk-off double last week, but even a broke man hits to 21 on 16 every once in a while. Chris Getz, inexplicably called up during the break to replace Johnny Giovatella, can’t hit either. So it would appear the Royals need a middle infielder that is hitting on the brighter side of .250. As I sit here watching MLB Network’s coverage of the trade deadline, Ken Rosenthal is peddling the rumor that the Royals are interested in trading for 2B/1B Howie Kendrick or 2B/SS Erick Aybar of the LA Angels. Both are incredibly capable and very talented with the bat. Aybar has a .284/.309/.384 (batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage) split this year, and Kendrick owns a .298/.338/.444 split. Escobar sits at .240/.267/.316 and Getz is a deplorable .209/.280/.281. So obviously either Kendrick or Aybar would be huge upgrades. They would provide extra pop in a lineup that sorely needs it without sacrificing any glove abilities. But, players of this caliber do not come cheaply. And the price is prospects. Here we go again.

Every time Wil Myers gets a hit, a voodoo-like pain sticks right in Dayton Moore’s kidneys. Man oh man can that kid hit. Don’t get me wrong, the Royals are not in a position to make the playoffs without James Shields, but success for the next ten years is not worth success this year. Knowing that, Moore is, and should be, hesitant to trade for anything right now. The word is the Angels would want their choice of Kyle Zimmer, Yordano Ventura, or Danny Duffy (clicking on each players name will take you to their minor league stats page on baseball-reference.com.) All three potential all star pitchers, all three highly coveted by everyone in the Royals organization. There will probably be one, or even two, more prospects involved in such a deal, but those three are the ones being targeted by the Angels. Should Moore do it?

No. And let me tell you why.

We all remember the list; Jermaine Dye, Johnny Damon, Raul Ibanez, Carlos Beltran, and many more who were traded away because we couldn’t, or wouldn’t, pay to keep them. Historically, the Royals are one of the most atrocious franchises in terms of trade deadline deals. This isn’t just bad luck, this is the Royals literally willing to take anything just to not worry about having to pay someone a large sum of money. There are plenty more reasons not to do this.

Aybar and Kendrick’s contracts. With Chritian Colon soon to be called up, either out of spring training or early next year, the problem of production from the shortstop is hopefully on its way to being solved. There is too much time and too much money left on both of their contracts, so unless the Angels are willing to offer cash considerations, acquiring Aybar or Kendrick would end up being a long term problem for a short term solution.

Another reason is that all three of those prospects are incredibly good, especially Zimmer. Their value will only go up with time, and for once it would be nice if the Royals actually kept a pitcher due to consistently win 15-20 games for the long term. Of course, that is not a guarantee. They could all be flameouts. But as it currently stands, all of those guys just have too much potential.

The questions the Royals need to ask themselves: is this a long term solution? Are we willing to absorb one of their contracts? Are we willing to trade away even more of our minor league system? It seems to me the answer should be no. Now, if the Angels were willing to extend cash considerations, or we traded, say, Duffy and Hochevar for Kendrick, that would be a good trade. But given the information right now of what the Angels want and what we have to offer, it wouldn’t do any good.

Currently, we sit at 51-51. If we go 36-24 over the last sixty games, we have a chance to take the division. While addressing a short term need might help in accomplishing that goal, the headache of dealing with it later is just not worth it. Do the right thing, Mr. Moore: sit tight, don’t give away anything we’d regret not keeping.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Sports and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s