The looming trade deadline makes many interactions with teams and the press extra intriguing. With that headline-grabbing deadline now spawning theories about a trade for starting pitching by the Kansas City Royals, the most recent press conference with KC skipper Ned Yost regarding the health of Jason Vargas was especially informative.
Both Yost and Vargas met the press with a very straight-forward “I don’t know” when asked if the recovering 31-year old would make his scheduled start on Saturday, August 2. The man who still possesses a 3.36 ERA on the season should be at least 100 percent for the start following this one, so what’s the deal with all these trade rumors involving starters? From what I can gather, they can only point to bad news for Royals fans.
Fellow veteran starter Jeremy Guthrie is still under team control through 2015, and KC has a $1 million option for re-signing him in 2016. Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy are both quality MLB starters right now, and they’re both expected to get much better quickly. So, uhh, that’s four of the starting five. Care to guess which Royal will bring in a lot of other teams hoping to bolster their rotation in preparation for a playoff run?
Despite James Shields publicly claiming that he wanted to stay in KC and was willing to restructure his contract, his name is still bouncing around in trade rumors across the league.
Hopefully, the Royals organization knows exactly how ugly a picture this grim possibility could paint in the minds of their fans. Imagine how bad it would look to have GM Dayton Moore proclaiming to the press his search for a power hitter, like a smokescreen, only to watch the team replace their ace with 42-year old Bartolo Colon and reach the deadline without making an offensive upgrade at all.
At this point, I’m not sure if it’s hope or logic that makes me believe the Royals won’t be this ruthlessly frugal.