One of the biggest trades of the MLB season so far will affect the American League’s Central division in a big way. Justin Masterson recently became a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, as it was announced on Wednesday that the Cleveland Indians traded him for a minor league outfielder. James Ramsey is a former first-round pick who started in the Futures Game in early July, but he only has limited experience at the AA level. This move could frustrate fans in Cleveland, but it sounds just fine to Kansas City Royals fans.
Many, including myself, wondered aloud if Cleveland had the lasting power to stay in the race for much longer because of their lack of quality pitching. This decision to move Masterson means significantly hampering the club’s chances this season for a better foundation (and more money to spend) in the years to come, which is good news for fans in Kansas City. The Royals have a legit core of exciting, new players to look forward to as years go by, and they’ll have the right to cling tenaciously to their last scraps of hope for 2014.
With this move being made and the Detroit Tigers still leading the Royals by five in the AL Central, the far-and-away most likely scenario for KC’s possible playoff berth includes a bitter fight with the other AL teams chasing the two Wild Card spots. The Royals must now look long and hard at how they match up against the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays. KC sits 3.5 games back from the final Wild Card spot with these three teams standing in their way.