Teams have, in the history of this grand game, come out of nowhere to make the playoffs. They have come back from the dead. They have had miraculous runs that could not be conceived of or computed to happen. It has not happened recently, my friends. Not in the league in which the Kansas City Royals play and not during the tenure of their current general manager.
Since 2007, no team that was under the .500 mark at the All-Star Break made the playoffs. Even when you adjust for the new second wild-card team, it still has not happened in the American League.
Following is a listing of the teams that made the playoffs (or would have made the playoffs if the second wild card was in place) and how many games over .500 they were on July 15th of each season.
2012: New York (+20), Baltimore (+4), Detroit (+3), Oakland (+3), Texas (+19)
2011: New York (+16), Tampa (+9), Boston (+19), Detroit (+5), Texas (+12)
2010: Tampa (+20), New York (+24), Boston (+13), Minnesota (+3), Texas (+13)
2009: New York (+14), Boston (+20), Minnesota (+1), LAA (+13), Texas (+11)
2008: Tampa (+16), Boston (+17), New York (+5), Chicago (+14), LAA (+19)
2007: Boston (+19), New York (+1), Cleveland (+17), LAA (+19), Detroit (+18)/Seattle (+13)
In 2007, Detroit and Seattle would have tied for the second wild card berth.
At six games UNDER .500, the Royals are not even in the conversation at this point. They would need to go 45-25 just to get to 88 wins and, honestly, I am not sure 88 wins gets it done.
Buyers at the deadline? What was not very long ago a reasonable question is now a laughable one.
Sellers at the deadline? Maybe, depending on your view of the current roster and what it is capable of doing in 2014.
One thing seems clear at this point. If a pitcher or player is not going to be part of the team next year, there is no real point in not moving them now and certainly little point in playing those who do not need to be moved.
There is a legitimate debate over whether the yield from trading Ervin Santana would outweigh the upside of the free agent compensation pick the Royals would realize if they keep him all year, but there is no debate over whether we need to see another dose of Chris Getz at the major league level.
From this point forward, if Dayton Moore or Ned Yost are doing anything other than preparing their team to be better in 2014, then they are doing it wrong. Hard to imagine that happening, isn't it?