With the Yuniesky trade behind us, he is soon to join the Royals. Alex Gordon is done reminding everyone that he owned the minors and is set for a return to duty with the Royals. Several players on our roster have the attention of other teams. So who will have the most impact? Who will no longer be with us? Here's a look at each scenario and what I think will, or should, happen.
This Friday against the Rays, the Royals will likely be ready to activate both Gordon and Betancourt, meaning two roster spots will need to be cleared. Here are the options as I see them.
DFA Tony Pena Jr.
Comment: He's out of options...which begs the question of who kept calling him up. But we know the answer. How shit-faced will we all get in celebration of this move when, and if, it happens. Hopefully it's this Friday because (a) it's the soonest it is possible to happen and (b) it's a weekend so most of us won't have to wake up from the night of boozing in celebration. I don't need to show you any stats about this guy.
Impact: Addition by subtraction for the Royals, and, as GobbleforCyYoung has put it, Betancourt is a major upgrade, even if he, also, sucks. However, I may need some money after the bar tab I'd run up and maybe even some money to cover the stomach-pump.
TPJ in his signature performance.
DFA Brayan Pena
Comment: SuperPudge should not be sent down after his run of success at the plate, both in AAA and in the majors for us this year. I'm still baffled he did not get claimed on waivers last time, but surely someone would grab him this time. I like Pena over Buck, but his lack of grit and toolsy athleticism likely make him look different in the eyes of our beloved scouts. To be blunt, he's fat, but that's not always an indicator that someone isn't awesome.
Impact: To me? Devastating. To the team, it really would not matter all that much other than losing the extra bat off the bench and the insurance in case Buck or Olivo get injured long-term.
Pudgy Cuban awesomeness.
Send down Bruce Chen
Comment: i've seen enough of Bruce personally, but there are some that believe he has Horacio Ramirez qualities. Similarities: penchant for allowing homers, the left hand, and the number 52. To management, they loved Horacio Ramirez and, therefore, they love Bruce Chen. This move seems unlikely, but plausible considering we've gone 4-man at several points this year and pitchers will be rested after the break.
Impact: Chen would open a spot for a position player or the return of Sir Sidney. Both scenarios are probably a push, unless that position player replacing him is Gordon.
How many Chens in an Omaha phonebook? It depends how bad the Royals are doing.
Trade Mark Teahen and/or John Buck
Comment: Funny I put these guys together in the same trade scenario? Well, they're both expendable and have (some) value to other teams. Teahen for his bat and versatility; Buck because he can catch and call games (notice I did not say throw). These guys could be gone without much changing on our roster, meaning they are an opportunity to add some minor league depth or a major league relief arm (although probably not a good one).
Impact: Losing Teahen would symbolize the end of an era, but not necessarily one we'll miss. Teahen has saved the team with his ability to change positions and adapt, but he has also sucked up a roster spot since 2005 with his potential that has never really maximized, and if this is it, a .290/.335/.440 18 hr season, we won't miss much. I personally like Teahen, but I understand why so many of us have soured on him. Losing Buck would give Brayan Pena his much needed opportunity to catch once or twice a week and secure his spot with our franchise.
Wow, who would have thought this picture would contain (a) the shortstop whose injury destroyed the organization, (b) both players involved in the Carlos Beltran trade still on the roster, and (c) the hacktastic superhero Dayton Moore envisioned? All three, perfect caption.
Comment: When we signed Juan Cruz, Royals fans were the only ones who didn't see it as a trade set-up move. Well, now other people looks smarter than us, because a 94-98mph fastball and sharp slider are always attractive tools for set-up men. Further, good teams always need more set-up help. We could cash with a A or AA prospect (what we may have gotten with that pick we lost for signing him), but his ERA does not scream value right now. Mahay, on the other hand, is left-handed, making him instantly more valuable. However, his control has been spotty this year. He'd have marginal trade value at best.
Impact: Season blow up. This would officially signal that we have given up, as it would mean the bullpen simply could not function any more. Tejeda, Farnsworth, and Colon would be the best relievers left to get a game to Soria, and that's scary.
Once an outfielder, always Australian.
Cruz reacting to trade rumors.
DFA Mike Jacobs and call-up Kila
Comment: Here's one that would jump off the page, but because of that it is very unlikely. Send down a recent Dayton acquisition and call-up an OBP monster with power? Hmmm, unlikely, but it's obviously one I'd LOVE to see.
The real Hawaiian Punch. (.259/.390!!!/.474, 13 HR, 64 BB, 64 K in 87 G, 365 PA)
In summary, this is speculation. But we've wondered for awhile what the team would look like when Gordon came back, often optimistically. Well, the time is here, and it's terrible. These roster moves are the possibilities I see. Chime in with your thoughts and prayers.