The debate about who should be traded or kept is starting to boil in Kansas City. The team has been fielding lots of calls over the last few weeks. This trend is not going to change anytime soon as the deadline nears. The most written about players on the block are David DeJesus, Jose Guillen, and Kyle Farnsworth.
A quick update of what we have heard so far. Guillen is being pushed hard by the team. The Royals are willing to take on most of his remaining salary. Guillen has been hitting well, getting on base a ton and staying healthy for the most part. It is likely he will be gone by the deadline.
DeJesus is the most talked about player. It seems like every team wants to ad DeJesus to their club. Scouts have been following the team for something like a month now. The favorites to acquire David are Boston and San Fran. I say this because the Royals have reportedly been seen scouting both clubs. The Royals are said to be holding on to DeJesus until closer to the deadline.
Farnsworth is being talked about because he is a relief arm and well teams can always use another relief arm. He is getting a ton of ground outs this season as well as strikeouts, all of which are making him look pretty good to teams needing arm depth. His contract only has about $2 million left for 2010. He also has a option for 2011 that he void if traded. If he does not void that option he will be on the books for around $5 million for 2011.
The team has several other players that could be and should be moved before the deadline while their value is high. This list in my mind includes several players that many are not talking about. This list first includes players that are going to be free agents next year who are playing well. The top of this list for me include Bruce Chen and Willie Bloomquist.
It is said that teams are calling about Bloomquist who can play all over the place. Bloomquist has said he wants to stay with the Royals but trading him at the deadline with hopes of resigning him is the best move for the team in my mind. The same plan should be followed with Chen. Chen has seen somewhat of a rebirth in KC after being picked up on only a minor league deal at the start of the season. He is pitching better and better with almost every start. Chen could see bidding for his services in the off-season if he continues to pitch well for the rest of the season, which is bad news for the Royals. Chen could become the pitcher of choice if the first tier pitchers can not be had by a contender.
The next players on my list are players with a club option for next year. This list includes Rick Ankiel and Scott Podsednik. Ankiel needs to show that he stay healthy before he has any real trade value but in my eyes to get his contract off the books would be a good move since he has had some many injury problems this season. Podsednik is one of those players that if a good offer came across the desk I would not be sad to see him leave but to give him away just because is uncalled for.
The segment of the list consist of players that will arbitration players next year. This list includes Luke Hochevar, Josh Rupe, Billy Butler, Brayan Pena, and Josh Fields all going for the first time. Robinson Tejeda and Alex Gordon going for the second time. Lastly Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies and Brad Thompson all going for a third time. This list of players get to be a little tricky when deciding if they should be traded. You first must look at what their projected arbitration salary will be before you do anything. If the salary that the player might earn is above what you believe their talent level is then they must be traded in my mind. I have almost the same view with Butler but on the other hand I think Butler could return some solid talent back to the team in a trade. Butler I say keep unless you are blown away. I want to say the same thing about Gordon too but with young talent in minors at third Gordon could be expendable. Bannister is the best player to trade in this group. Bannister, like Chen, could see teams looking at him once they miss out on the first tier of pitchers are off the market.
I will say that if I were the man in charge in Kansas City I would be asking for players that are already in the majors or less than a year away talent as my starting point. I think the Royals can come away like thieves if are willing to take on the salary of players that they are trading. This year many teams are trying to make it over the hump into the playoffs but have limited budgets.
So, after the dust settles after the deadline I would like to see Bannister, DeJesus, Guillen, Farnsworth, Ankiel, Podsednik, Chen, and Bloomquist gone. I think these eight players could return 4 major league or major league ready players and several lower level projects.