Two days remain until the MLB non-waiver trade deadline brings a halt to all the rumor mill madness, and the Kansas City Royals have yet to make a headline-worthy deal. The few, smaller-scale moves that were made leave some unanswered questions for fans to ponder, either now or when/if KC fails to reach the postseason.
Aside from giving Christian Colon a chance to shine again, KC’s moves thus far have been mildly positive. Jason Frasor is a solid veteran reliever with a career 3.64 ERA who has already given KC five scoreless appearances. This 11-year vet played for nine years with the Toronto Blue Jays, but found more recent success when he joined the Texas Rangers in 2013, recording a 2.86 ERA over 78.2 innings there.
Erik Kratz is a strong defensive catcher who KC’s scouts apparently think has more potential than either Brett Hayes or Omaha Storm Chasers starting catcher Fernando Pena. Pena currently has 22 HRs and a .563 SLG in 69 games at the triple-A level this season, so the decision to make Kratz the full-time backup makes many paying attention to Pena’s development scratch their heads.
This deal with Toronto gives KC a different look to enter August that may include the aforementioned Colon’s breakthrough moment. The Royals want Colon to have a real chance to hold down the utility infielder job by relieving Mike Moustakas at third base, either when Moose struggles or simply needs a rest.
The choice to part ways with Danny Valencia displays the organization’s confidence in both Moose and Colon, considering that their contributions could decide whether or not KC can keep their postseason aspirations alive throughout the following month.
Since Moustakas’ recent improvement is undeniable and Colon currently has a .307/.361/.430 line with eight HRs, 47 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases in 85 games this season, their faith seems well warranted.