The MLB trading deadline is less than two weeks away so games following the All-Star break are HUGE for the KC Royals. They sit eight games back of first place in the American League Central.
The Royals could quickly make up ground right out of the gate as they welcome first place Detroit to town for three games (3-2 against the Tigers so far this season).
After the Tigers leave Kauffman Stadium, Baltimore will heading in for four games (most likely with a few new players in tow). That is a BIG seven game homestand that could decide whether the Royals are buyers or sellers.The big name on the market is starter Ervin Santana, who has been the Royals biggest surprise so far this season. His record is not great (5-6), but his ERA (3.37) and his ability to keep the team in games is a big factor to why he has been an important member of the staff. Santana could be making his final start as a Royal on Friday night against the Tigers and Anibal Sanchez.
Santana is new to Twitter, but has been making fans happy by following them and responding to questions asked. I think many will be sad to see him go.
Fellow starter James Shields is another name on the market, though he has another year left on his contract. That means the Royals could ask for a bit more for his services. Big Game James has plenty of playoff experience, though he has struggled of late with KC. He has only gone seven innings once over his last six starts.
Greg Holland is an interesting trade chip. Many playoff contenders are in desperate need of a closer and Holland has been one of the best closers over the last two months. I am not sure the Royals want to move him, but he is a nice bargaining chip (especially if they can get Kelvin Herrera’s confidence back or decide to move flame-throwing Yordano Ventura to the bullpen).
So what moves do you think the Royals will make? Or will it be another long summer of trying to win with what they have?
*The Royals will also have two new players on their roster when they get back in action. Speaking of reliever Kelvin Herrera, he is back (replacing Everett Teaford), as is second baseman Chris Getz (who played well in Omaha’s leadoff spot since being demoted). Johnny Giavotella is headed back to Omaha, which is a shame because I do not think he got a legitimate chance this time around.