Assess the market for Royals players who have not been traded

The trade deadline expired and the Royals were actually quite transactional. In the past two months they have made six significant exchanges, adding 12 new players to the organization:

But there were still some commercial candidates that the Royals eventually kept. We don’t know what kind of discussions the Royals have had with other teams, but we can look back and see how the returns for comparable players have been.

Rescuers

The Royals have one of the best rescuers in baseball in Scott Barlow, who was still effective this year despite a bad weekend in New York and a slight drop in speed. Josh Staumont was also mostly effective even though his walking numbers went up. And Taylor Clarke was a solid attacking pitcher who gave up just three out of 20 points 23 innings in the past six weeks. Adding to their value is the fact that all three rescuers have several years of club control remaining.

The reliever market seemed to have declined in recent seasons, but this year it’s back roaring, possibly due to the extended playoffs and more contenders looking to bolster the bullpen. Teams were aggressively acquiring relief with several years of control remaining. Two trades stand out as being comparable to the kind of relief the royals had to offer. First, the Blue Jays have acquired pitchers Zach Pop, Anthony Bass and a player to be named later by the Marlins for inside Jordan Groshans. Bass has a career year at age 34 with an ERA of 1.41 and has a club option for 2023. Pop is a bit of a blue-collar who has stayed in the pen of the Marlins this year with a ‘ WAS 4.12. Groshans’ title dropped slightly this year after a difficult season in which he reached .250 / .348 / .296 in 67 games at Triple-A. But the 22-year-old shortstop was one of the top 100 pre-season consensus prospects with a good hit tool and solid walking rate. Would Barlow’s pairing with Merrifield and maybe another arm (Taylor Clarke or Jose Cuas?) Cause the Jays to part ways with Groshans and Samad Taylor and / or Max Castillo?

The second exchange was when the Orioles took Jorge López, – do you remember? – and traded it at the height of its value with the Twins for four minor leagues. None of the potential candidates – pitchers Cade Povich, Yennier Cano, Juan Nunez, and Juan Rojas – are ranked in the top 20 by MLB Pipeline, Baseball America or Fangraphs, so if the Orioles see something, the others don’t seem to see it. Perhaps this is an indication that the reliever market is more about quantity than quality, or perhaps the teams don’t trust López with his track record as much as someone like Barlow, who has been good for several seasons now. In any case, 16 relievers have been traded in the past 48 hours (including Trevor Rosenthal, who hasn’t launched a launch since 2020!), So there has been a robust market that the Royals have not participated in.

Starting pitchers

Teams usually try to complete their rotations to add depth, but this year hasn’t been a big trading deadline for mid-rotation pitchers. After big names like Frankie Montas and Noah Syndergard were swapped, there were only four mid-tier pitchers swapped at maturity: Montgomery, Tyler Mahle, Jose Quintana, and Jake Odorizzi.

Keller has regressed over the past two seasons and hasn’t pitched as well as any of those pitchers. He reportedly attracted interest from clubs, but with a 5.03 ERA and low strikeout rate over the past two seasons, the offers probably weren’t too high. If he manages to recover, maybe the Royals will buy him this winter or next summer.

Zack Greinke has a much better track record and has been a decent starter this year with an ERA of 4.41 and a miniscule walk rate. But the royals decided they wouldn’t trade him. The Pirates were able to get the tenth-ranked prospect in the Cardinals organization plus a young rescuer in exchange for Quintana, likely a similar return Greinke could have gotten and possibly a better scenario for a comeback for Keller if he were able. rebound in the next year.

Michael A. Taylor

There were really only three midfielders traded on maturity: Harrison Bader, Brandon Marsh, Jose Siri and Brett Phillips. Phillips was mistaken for money considerations, so it’s not really comparable. Marsh and Siri are both younger players at the start of their careers, they’re not at all like Taylor.

Bader is the closest to Taylor, but three years younger with a much better offensive track record. However, Taylor has been better this year (a 112 OPS + against Bader’s disappointing 93 with the Cardinals). Both players are under the control of the club until 2023 with the same base salary, although Bader has salary scales that are sure to pay him several million more. Bader went to the Yankees for 29-year-old pitcher Jordan Montgomery, who has an ERA of 3.69 in 21 starts to New York.

It’s hard to think Taylor would have guaranteed that comeback, but you have to wonder if the Yanks discussed including Taylor in the Benintendi deal to give them a great defender in the middle. Instead of having to deal with the depth of the initial launch, they could have offered the Royals more perspectives. The Braves and Red Sox also picked up underwhelming outfielders – Robbie Grossman in Atlanta and Tommy Pham in Boston – Taylor might have been a better alternative if they’d been willing to pay the price.

Poll

How would you generally rate the Royals’ operations this summer?

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