I'm fairly obsessed with sports transactions and the MLB trade deadline in particular. It usually starts well before the deadline, but this year it started about 2-3 months early. To that end, I've been constantly looking at teams, what they need and what prospects they have. So much so that it makes sense for me to just put cheat sheets together for myself. Since I'm already doing this, I figured maybe someone else will find it of use, so I'll post it here. It probably won't get much action, but if anyone finds it useful, high five.
I'll probably post a new team every day or so. Today, we're going to start with the Royals. This research is all ad hoc, so feel free to add information about the team, the prospects, where you might disagree, etc.
Left for dead a month ago, the Royals have made a surge of late, now sitting 4 games out of the last wild card and 5 games behind the Tigers in the AL Central. Dayton Moore went big this offseason and if the Royals don’t make the playoffs, he could go home anyway. What that means is that if he can justify it, you should see the Royals try and add pieces at the deadline because Moore probably likes having a job more than he does not having a job.
Needs (likelihood to deal for position in italics)
Holy disappointing youngsters, batman!
Starting Pitching-Medium: Santana and Shields have been very good with good peripherals. Luis Mendoza has been OK, but not great (4.08 ERA). Jeremy Guthrie is in line for a big correction if you’re into peripherals (3.72 ERA, 5.96 FIP) and Wade Davis has been bad (5.18 ERA). They could use 1 starter to bump Davis out of the rotation.
First Base, Shortstop, Third Base-Low: Disappointing stud prospects is the name of the game at these positions for the Royals. It seems unlikely that the Royals will spend resources to replace any of Escobar, Moustakas and Hosmer at the deadline.
Second Base-High: Chris Getz/Elliot Johnson are doing absolutely nothing offensively. That being said, dWAR shows that they’ve combined for 1.5 dWAR. Regardless of how well they may have done defensively, the Royals are certainly looking to add a bat somewhere and this spot would make sense.
Fits on the Cub Roster
Scott Feldman and Matt Garza are options for their starter search, depending on what time of impact the Royals are looking for. Darwin Barney kind of seems like a copy of what the Royals already have at 2B, but maybe the Royals would be willing to give Luis Valbuena another shot over there because of his bat. Nate Schierholtz and David DeJesus both seem like good fits for the Royals’ problem in RF, although each would just be an answer for the left side of a platoon.
What’s in it for the Cubs?
With Wil Myers departing, Kyle Zimmer has shot to the top of this list. Only problem is, he’s been really bad in high A. Bubba Starling has been equally bad in low A. The hot name on this list is Yordano Ventura, who is a flame throwing 22 year old little person in AAA. There’s some concern about his height and whether he can cut it as a starter in AAA, but he is striking guys out all over the place. I know prospect gurus get excited about Adalberto Mondesi because he’s 12 and playing in low A and I know Kyle Smith is having a good year because Baseball Reference tells me that. But other than that, I’d advise you to look through the links above to find out more about the Royals system.