By now, we all know that the Kansas City Royals did not move many players as the July 31 trade deadline expired. We heard some rumors of big moves, but only smaller moves were made in the weeks leading up to the deadline. However, on July 31, they were silent. Most Royals fans, myself included, did not want to see Whit Merrifield go, but we all knew he could be moved. Royals fans were also expecting to see Billy Hamilton off to a contending team, but he stays put. The Royals were not buyers or sellers at the deadline. So what does this mean for this team?
Who Could the Royals Have Moved?
When the 2019 season started the Royals front office added Brad Boxberger, Jake Diekman, Homer Bailey, Martin Maldonado, Lucas Duda, Chris Owings, and Billy Hamilton all for pretty cheap contracts. The idea being that for the most part these are veteran players that could help grow a young team. Many fans also recognized that if these players had good starts to the season, they could be traded for some pretty decent prospects to help with the teams rebuild.
With only Hamilton remaining from this group and not many notable prospects joining our minor league ranks, what could the Royals have done to make a bigger splash in the market? The biggest rumor most fans of American or National League central teams heard leading up to the deadline was that Whit Merrifield would be going to the Cubs. So let’s dive into what that trade could have looked like.
Now clearly we heard a lot of rumors, but nothing was ever formally offered for sure, so our best look is from MLB Central on July 31st. The mocked up trade included sending Whit Merrifield and Billy Hamilton to the Chicago Cubs, in exchange for Infielder/Outfielder Ian Happ, Outfielder Albert Almora, and Right Handed Pitcher Adbert Alzolay. The Cubs get a great hitter and fielder in Merrifield and a great defender and speed off the bench in Hamilton. The Royals get some young talent, but more importantly, some young pitching. Most Royals fans absolutely love Merrifield and do not want to see him go, however we know he was our best piece to get young talent to rebuild. Merrifield, being 30 years old, will more than likely not be on the team when we are strong contenders again, even with club control until 2023. So why not trade him? Dayton Moore and all Royals fans agree that Merrifield is as Kansas City as Alex Gordon at this point.
Not Moving the Veterans?
Speaking of Alex Gordon, it was rumored that many teams were looking into him, but he was likely to veto any trade. Gordon will more than likely spend his entire career in Kansas City, especially with this being the last year of his four year contract. Another notable Royal that had the possibility of moving was Ian Kennedy. However, the amount of time and money left in his contract definitely halted any trade talks. The Royals would have more than likely needed to take on responsibility for the rest of the year, and even a good part of next year to sweeten the deal.
The only piece that should have moved was Billy Hamilton. Nearly any contending team could have used his speed and defense. Not necessarily as a starter, but definitely off the bench as a pinch runner late in games. He would have be a perfect fit for the Yankees, a team that is primed to win it all right now, but still has prospects that could have made a great trade.
The Royals’ Actual Moves
While the Royals did not make any moves on the day of the deadline, the front office did make many notable shakeups from the end of June through the month of July. It all started with designating Brad Boxberger for assignment. Then, the much anticipated call up of Bubba Starling, which was preceded by the designation of Terrence Gore. The Royals then traded Homer Bailey to the Oakland A’s for middle Infielder Kevin Merrell, who is fast and hitting very well at the double-A level. The only other real trade was Martin Maldonado to the Cubs for left handed pitcher Mike Montgomery, a sort of homecoming for him. The last and arguably most obvious move was designating Wily Peralta for assignment. This was not a trade, but a move that needed to be made nonetheless.
Grading the Royals Deadline
As far as trade deadlines go, I would grade this a solid C. Not exciting, but not so disappointing because we kept many guys that keep fans coming out to the ballpark. We did not make any wild moves like Cleveland, Houston or the Mets, but we did more than the Yankees and the Red Sox. Are there any moves you wish we would have made? Let’s discuss it on Twitter or on the trade deadline forums!
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By: Jorden Miller