After going 81-81 last season, the Kansas City Royals are 47-47 entering play July 21. They’re the definition of mediocrity.
And they’re still in the race.
The Royals trail the Indians (48-45) by just 1.5 games in the AL Central and the Yankees by two games in the AL Wild Card. This year could be the last hurrah with a core that has played in two of the last three World Series – and that, more than anything, is why the Royals should be buyers before the July 31 trade deadline.
“They’re not going to be able to do anything major, they don’t have a great farm system – and that’s part of the reason I think they might as well buy,” Yahoo! MLB writer Chris Cwik said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “We know it’s going to take them a longtime to get a full rebuild in. We’ve seen what rental players – and they have a lot of rental guys – who could maybe bring back some guys, but we’ve seen what that brings with the J.D. Martinez trade, and it’s not a lot of talent. So you know what? Make one more run with this core intact and really start the rebuild a few months from now.
“I just don’t know that you’re going to be able to really kickstart anything if you trade Eric Hosmer or Lorenzo Cain or Mike Moustakas today,” Cwik continued. “If they can just get one or two pieces – and they don’t have to be great, they just have to be guys who they can depend on down the stretch – I feel like they can still put themselves in it. And look at the teams around them.”
The Rays (51-45), who lead the Wild Card, are inexperienced. The Yankees have rotation issues. And the Twins (48-46), Mariners (48-49) and Rangers (45-50) aren’t exactly world-beaters.
“All of them just have obvious flaws,” Cwik said. “I can’t say that the Mariners or the Rangers are significantly better than the Royals, so it just kind of make sense to me for them to give it a shot.”