Royals Head Into a Quiet 2011 MLB Trade Deadline Eve

BOSTON, MA - JULY 26: Melky Cabrera #53 of the Kansas City Royals scores in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox on July 26, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

A quiet Saturday thus far, as we ramble towards the final 24 hours of quasi-trade-deadline week. While there hasn't been much reported activity involving the Royals, that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Last year if you recall, the hottest Royals rumor was the awesomely horrible and pointless Guillen-Francoeur rumor, which was so sublimely macabre that it seemed to have it's own impetus, despite not making sense for anyone.

In the last few days I've been talked into the fact that there might be some utility in keeping Melky Cabrera around, but in the end, I'd rather both him and Francoeur be traded, and I'll be annoyed if neither are. Last year we all applauded when the Royals got essentially nothing back for Callaspo-Podsednik-Ankiel-Farnsworth etc. I don't think that was the wrong response, though we need to acknowledge that, in the end, all the Royals got for all that activity was whatever you think of Tim Collins and a vaguely interesting prospect Will Smith.

Rany brought up the point in his podcast this week that, while the new orthodoxy is that of course you trade whatever spare parts you can for whatever you can, perhaps there is a point where the return is just so small that you shouldn't make the deal. Does there come a point where the package being offered, for, say, Francoeur, is just so small that really all your doing is facilitating the other side's stretch run? As teams have come to value prospects more and more over the last decade, we've seen the trade market collapse. There are still exceptions, of course, but I think there is something to Rany's argument. Perhaps.

The other point to remember is that the Beltran and Pence deals needed to happen to allow the other, more minor (in some cases) outfield moves to take place. Fukudome has also moved, so we're starting to get to the point where teams that are looking for outfield help are now turning to what the Royals have with greater interest.

If you want my prediction, I say that the Royals will trade one player this weekend. I was tempted to write two, but I'm just not sure who the second would be. Francis? A fascinating Gordon or Butler trade? Soria? The Royals just don't have many interesting players that fit the deadline mold. Keyboards at the ready...

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