Well, the old man was up and active this morning, disdaining a frosty 9:00 a.m. Busch Light for two hours of tennis. All of that means little to you, particularly since my hope that some early physical activity would lead to some stunning baseball revelations. It did not, my friends.
Fresh off the All-Star Break, baseball teams are mostly in a holding pattern. Let’s see what happens over the next week to ten days is a standard mantra. In an American League where ten teams are at .500 or better, very few clubs are ready to throw in the towel and start selling. So we wait.
We wait to see what the Kansas City Royals can do coming out of the break. Can they finish off the Tigers’ series with a win today? Make hay (I’m from the farm, I can say that) during a nine game homestand against two division leaders and the awful Angels? Would an 8-4 post break run be enough to encourage you to trade Jorge Bonifacio and more for differed and hopefully better starting pitcher?
The more important question might be, will other teams stumble enough over the same time to turn into sellers? The Royals’ position in the standings combined with a lack of high-end prospects makes them ill-equipped to get the best deal in what is currently a seller-friendly market. They are in need of some six game losing streaks from teams with records not terrifically dissimilar from their own.
We have been having this discussion all week as to what, even if the Royals get hot in late July, the organization should do or not do. The easy top of the list ‘not’ is do not trade Raul Mondesi. Beyond that, one can get a different opinion on a plan of action from every person you talk to. It could be a very interesting two weeks…or it could be tremendously quiet. We have seen both types of trade deadlines and, frankly, I am uncertain as to which is better for Kansas City.
All that said, after all the articles and tweets on the subject, I do advocate making a move. While we often bristle at the mental component of team building (and as Royals’ fans who lived through the bad years, we have a right to) I do think making a trade might provide this squad with a little energy. I don’t believe this team has been going through the motions this year, they play hard, they generally have been focused, but there does seem to be just a bit of ‘we’re good, we’re comfortable, we all know each other, it’ll all work out’ sort of aura around the entire organization.
Such an attitude is understandable. Heck, it is not even a bad thing. That said, if one can add a little fire to the comfortable and confident vibe, I could see that non-quantifiable intangible adding value over and above whatever value the acquired starting pitcher might bring. Of course, that could just be the old man musing in me, too.
So sure, I’ll say it. The Royals should get on the phone, ready to deal some combination of Bonifacio, Hunter Dozier, Bubba Starling (stop laughing), Josh Staumont and some of the other young arms we ‘hope’ to see develop. To be honest, maybe that is not enough, but it is worth a try.
We are all well aware the Royals shipped off five arms last summer and that doing more of the same this year will further weaken what is likely to be a not very good 2018 squad. I am also very cognizant that any move is really a move to only get this team into a coin flip wild-card dance, but I am willing to take that leap.
Yes, I want playoffs of any kind this year and next. And I am willing to reach for that even if it means 65-97 in 2018.
Now, about that beverage….