The MLB trade deadline has officially come and gone, and the Royals were one of the last teams to make a move before the hot stove went cold. They made plenty of other moves before that, but getting one in right under the deadline feels pretty good...or bad depending on who you get I guess. Let's look at the good, the meh, and bad of Kansas City's trades from June to now.
P Ryan Yarbrough to the Dodgers for 1B Devin Mann and SS Derlin Figueroa
P Scott Barlow to the Padres for P Henry Williams and P Jesus Rios
P Jose Cuas to the Cubs for OF Nelson Velazquez
P Tucker Davidson acquired from the Angels for cash
P Aroldis Chapman to the Rangers for P Cole Ragans and OF Roni Cabrera
INF Nicky Lopez to the Braves for P Taylor Hearn
These are all the ones I at least heard about, there may have been more very minor ones I missed, but these are the big ones that made news. First, the good. Yarbrough goes to a contender and the Royals gain two prospective players that show a lot of promise. .307 combined batting averages with 14 combined home runs and .943 OPS is a decent haul for a pitcher that had his ups and downs with KC. Mann was a top 30 prospect for the Dodgers and has been hitting well in AAA. For Scott Barlow, a pair of pitchers that once again show promise is a pretty even trade and will benefit the Royals' long game. Williams is the 13th ranked prospect on Fangraphs baseball and is spoken highly of by pundits. Finally, the reliever market shined through for the Royals when acquiring Velazquez from the Cubs for Jose Cuas. Velazquez does have injury history but has been stellar in the Cubs system with power behind the bat at 16 HRs, 44 RBIs, and a .253 average. He'll fit in nicely with the rotational outfield and may command some playing time this year even.
For the meh, Tucker Davidson is a project that may or may not work out in the Royals favor, so he goes here. In my opinion, you could've gotten better for Chapman too given his hotstreak and resurgence this year, but Ragans and Cabrera are solid returns that again, hold that potential instead of just being a placeholder. Let's get to the bad though, or perhaps just the worst, and that is the trade of Nicky Lopez to the Braves for Taylor Hearn. Hearn is a 28-year perennial minor leaguer that has been shaky at best in his outings. The Braves got him off their hands after just 6 days of having him and a terrible outing to boot. The definition of placeholder, Hearn has little to no upside and a career ERA of 5.26. Basically, just a copy of Amir Garrett (of whom the Royals RELEASED mind you) for one of the steadier Royals players in their recent history. Even IF the Royals were intent on trading Lopez, there had to have been better deals out there for him and they could have absolutely gotten more from a contender like the Braves. Just a bad trade all around reminiscent of the Dayton Moore era.
The Royals also listened to calls regarding Salvador Perez, Ed Olivares, and Brady Singer, but nothing ever materialized. Thank God really, if this franchise traded away the last piece of the 2015 World Series I think Royals fans might actually have stormed JJ Piccolo's house. Nonetheless, JJ actually didn't do half bad. He followed his philosophy of finding upside and developing players, only problem is the actual development of said players needs to happen. With one of the worst farm systems in the league, that's tough to imagine, but we shall see what changes are made in the coming months and years regarding that. For now, celebrate the small victories, Lord knows this fanbase could use some wins...
Burn Notice: 7/10 Simmering on the hot stove