According to Jon Heyman of FRS, the Kansas City Royals are getting close to selling off their most valuable pieces in trades with hopes of a speedy rebuilding process.
From Heyman, “The Kansas City Royals are said to be ‘quietly’ letting other teams know that they expect to have a ‘for sale’ sign up soon. That is not to say trades are expected immediately, but Royals people appear realistic about where things stand.”
The 2014 American League champions and 2015 World Series victors have seen their winning percentage drop steadily since reaching their high watermark with a .586 percentage in 2015. They’re currently 16-33 this season.
As per Heyman, “One person who’s spoken to Royals people suggests they could be ‘open to anything,’ which means it won’t be just older veterans and players on the last year of their deals who will be considered for trade — though, the Royals do have a lot of those.”
Royals general manager Dayton Moore told Heyman, “As you know when a team isn’t performing as well as they’d like it makes sense to be open-minded concerning trade scenarios…”.
The “usual suspects” like Salvador Perez (.246, .725 OPS, 8 HR, 22 RBI in 126 AB this season), Mike Moustakas (.283, .833 OPS 10 HR, 31 RBI in 191 AB), and closer, Kelvin Herrera (0.96 ERA, 17 K, 0 BB, 18.2 IP) are sure to draw a ton of attention.
Perez is locked up through the 2021 season with $36 million dollars remaining after this season ($7.5 million this season, $10 million in ’19, $13 million in ’20 and ’21). Moustakas has a mutual $15 million option for next season but is signed for just $5.5 million this season.
If the Royals choose to move the young, immensely talented outfielder Jorge Soler, which it seems could be a possibility, he could fetch just as big as a return as any of the top-tier guys they have. He’s signed through the 2020 season at just $4 million per year.
Second baseman Whit Merrifield (arbitration eligible after 2019) is having another solid season (1.2 fWAR) and his multiple years of team control would make him a valuable trade piece. He’s hitting .281/.352/.411 with four home runs, 12 stolen bases and 17 runs batted in in 185 at-bats this season.
Duffy, 29, who will arguably the most sought out of the group, is signed through 2021 at $15.25 million per season from 2019-2021 ($14 million this season).
Kennedy, 33, is locked up until 2020 with $33 million still due to him after this season and Hammel, 35, is owed $9 million this season and $12 million in 2019 before becoming a free agent again himself.
Junis and Skoglund are both under team control and arbitration-eligible until 2023, so unless the price is right, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be dealt.
But, the way Heyman is talking, it seems as if the Kansas City Royals are prepared to listen to any and all offers.