Here's your rundown of the latest Royals trade rumors before this afternoon's 3.p.m non-waiver trade deadline.
Royals inquired to Red Sox about John Lackey, but it appeared earlier today that KC was unlikely to meet the high asking price.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 30, 2014
#Royals have backed off Jonny Gomes because they want a bat that can play RF. He doesn't fit that description.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 30, 2014
Josh Willingham doesn't fit with #royals for same reason. He's strictly a LF-DH type. He's also hitting .179 in July.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 30, 2014
I'm not sure #royals see Justin Ruggiano or Chris Denorfia as big upgrades over Justin Maxwell, who's hitting .311 in AAA.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 30, 2014
Gomes is definitely a terrible defensive outfielder, but he has played 160 games in right-field, and he can't be any worse than Raul Ibanez out there. This is a club that tried Danny Valencia at second base, but they won't try Jonny Gomes part-time in right-field. Got it?
Andy McCullough says the Royals are exploring all options as the deadline approaches.
According to conversations with multiple team officials and executives from rival clubs, the team has inquired, or at least had internal discussions, about a variety of players across the diamond. The list includes outfielders (Rangers right fielder Alex Rios), starting pitchers (Boston’s John Lackey, San Diego’s Ian Kennedy) and relievers (Philadelphia lefty Antonio Bastardo, Red Sox lefty Andrew Miller). The team pondered picking the bones of the Phillies — with tepid interest in players like outfielder Marlon Byrd, starter A.J. Burnett, first baseman Ryan Howard, second baseman Chase Utley — but appears to have backed off.
Andy adds more on the Twitter:
One source characterized Alex Rios as the most "attainable" for the Royals of the relatively well-known OFs on the market.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) July 30, 2014
The Royals continue to talk to Philadelphia about pitchers A.J. Burnett and Antonio Bastardo, but money is an obstacle.
Do the Royals really have any financial flexibility?
According to @jaysonst on The Program despite what Dayton Moore said a few weeks ago they are telling other teams they can't take on salary— The Program (@theprogramkc) July 29, 2014
Royals are still on Kennedy.
Craig Brown at Royals Authority writes about Ned Yost's frustrated comment that the hitters "are what they are."
Which brings me back to Yost’s comment from last night. Pretty damning, isn’t it? A public acknowledgement that his team doesn’t know how to work the count and doesn’t know how to have what you would consider to be a professional at bat. And while we can certainly be outraged (or any other emotion) about how this team performs, this lack of discipline isn’t on Yost. It’s on the architect of the team. The guy charged with assembling a coherent 25-man roster. This is Dayton Moore’s fault.
Ned Yost says Billy Butler needs to hit to stay in the lineup.
The team had just traded away Danny Valencia, who Yost had said might siphon away some time from Butler at DH. Now, with Valencia gone, Butler’s place was secure. Right?
"If Billy keeps hitting, Billy’s going to DH," Yost said before the game. It is unclear how short his leash is. Butler appears to be the lone established Royal capable of losing playing time or receiving fewer at-bats.
Kathleen Gier at the Star talks to new backup catcher Erik Kratz, a 34-year journeyman. Also buried in there is the fact the Royals have released Joe Saunders from AAA Omaha.
The Star also asks Twitter what the Royals should do at the deadline with a familiar face among those featured. LIP-FLOPPER!
Danny Duffy is getting used to low run support. We have broken his spirit.
David Hill at Kings of Kauffman runs down the top five in trades in Royals history and has a surprising entry.
4. Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi for James Shields and Wade Davis (December 9, 2012)
This is a trade that, if the Royals end up making the playoffs, could move higher up the list. Should the Royals fail to reach the postseason, and either Myers and/or Odorizzi turn into stars for the Tampa Bay Rays, then this trade could end up on last week's list. However, this trade makes the best trades list for one reason - hope.
This trade sent a message to the Royals fan base that they were, finally, planning on going for it. Now was the time to end the playoff drought, and to get out of the rut of mediocrity. While the Royals failed on their quest for the postseason, the 86-76 record put together in 2013 was their best season since 1989. Hope had come back.
Dave Cameron at Fox Sports argues the July 31 trade deadline should be pushed back.
Jonah Keri at Grantland has your last-minute MLB Trade Deadline Primer suggesting Cubs outfielder Justin Ruggiano makes some sense for the Royals.
The Atlantic's Darren Garnick has a nice piece about the immortality of baseball players and one of his favorites - Royals reliever Dan Quisenberry.
Perhaps no one thinks about the fuzzy line between immortal and almost immortal more than Shawn Anderson, creator of the "Hall of Very Good" baseball blog dedicated to players who fall just short of Cooperstown. So far, the selective HOVG has "inducted" Tommy John, Dale Murphy, Steve Blass, Luis Tiant, Tony Oliva, and the San Diego Chicken into the imaginary shrine.
"A guy like Quisenberry definitely fits the bill for us," Anderson says. "I mean, here's a guy who led the league in saves five out of six years, was top three in Cy Young Award voting in four of those years, yet gets virtually no love from anyone. His story should be told and contributions to the game celebrated—not shoved aside."
The Twins are giving a $250,000 bonus to a 24-year old undrafted pitcher who had an 8.38 ERA for the Academy of Art University because he can now throw 100 mph.
CityLab calls Kansas City, Kansas an unlikely soccer capital.
Your song of the day is from The The, "This is the Day". Because this is the day.