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What if the Royals traded Morales, Volquez, or Hochevar?

Can we get Mike Trout in return?

Kendrys Morales, Edinson Volquez, Luke Hochevar Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports, John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports, Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday Kevin took a look at the trade market for the Royals if they wanted to sell. There's some good stuff there, so go ahead and read it. But I wondered if the Royals could and would sell, what might they get for the three names in almost everyone's "Sell" pile? I don't know enough about other teams' perceived needs or prospects to put together any specific deals, but hopefully this will give everyone a better idea of the prospect value these guys might bring back. To accomplish this, I looked at deadline trades from the last two seasons and tried to find guys in similar positions with similar fWARs before their trades as the fWAR so far produced by the Boys-Who-Won't-Be-Blue-Next-Year.

Kendrys Morales

The only true DH to be traded at the deadline in the last two years is - wait for it - Kendrys Morales. He was traded from the Twins to the Mariners as part of the Mariners’ attempt to improve cheaply that season. You may recall that was during Morales’s career worst performance after missing half the season due to the qualifying offer he received, so that comparison is a bit worthless. I ended up looking at some guys who played in the field, instead.

Best Comp: 2015 - Brandon Moss for Rob Kaminsky

Rob Kaminsky was ranked 74th-best prospect in baseball by by mid-season 2015. He had a 2.09 ERA, 2.51 FIP, and 7.51 K/9 at the trade deadline, but Kaminsky was only pitching for the Cardinals' A+ affiliate. He's also not on any top 100 prospect lists now. BA did at least rate him as Cleveland's ninth-best prospect at the start of the year, though. Moss actually had one-and-a-half years of control left, which probably increased his value; and he can play outfield as well as first base. No, no one is taking the five games Morales played in right field earlier this year seriously, so don't hold your breath for a top 100 prospect. Maybe Morales will net someone in the top 150, if there’s a really good fit.

Luke Hochevar

In what is otherwise being regarded as a seller’s market, relievers might be the one place where the buyers have a lot of high-quality options. Guys with potential to be moved include Sean Doolittle, David Robertson, Aroldis Chapman and/or his teammates Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances. Also out there are less sexy names in Jeremy Jeffress, Zach Duke, and Jeanmar Gomez.

Best Comps: Marc Rzepczynski for Abraham Almonte, Steve Cishek for Kyle Barraclough

Relievers may be getting a lot more money than they used to, but they still don't seem to bring back much in deadline deals. Tyler Clippard and Jason Frasor both also had similar fWAR production before their deadlines as Hochevar this year. Cishek and Frasor both returned near-ready minor-league relievers. Rzepczynski returned a backup outfielder in Abraham Almonte. Clippard returned a relief prospect and possible future closer with some control issues. Working in Hochevar’s favor is the fact that despite the availability of relievers, any team can always use another one. Working against him is the fact that some of his worst games have come most recently. The best-case scenario is probably a lottery-ticket starting pitcher, given the state of the Royals' system, but the more common return isn't even that high. His value is probably still greater than Clay Buchholz, though.

Edinson Volquez

Here is the guy that nets the best return. Just like relievers, competing teams always need another starter. Unlike with relievers, the market isn’t saturated with quality starting pitchers. Especially not like it was last year where Scott Kazmir, Johnny Cueto, David Price, and more were all available. This is a good thing because Volquez is pretty obviously not as good as any of those guys.

Best comp: Mike Leake for Keury Mella and Adam Duvall

Leake had actually pitched a bit better than Volquez by the deadline last year, but the starting pitching market was also quite a bit more saturated. The Reds did pretty well in this trade; Keury Mella who was considered by many to be the top prospect in the Giants system (though still not in the top 100 in all of baseball), and though old for a prospect, Adam Duvall was not a prospect wholly without value, reading the McCovey Chronicles thoughts on the trade reminds me of Brandon Finnegan with the Royals.

Adam Duvall falls into that category that Conor Gillaspie did a couple years ago. If another team gets use out of him and figures out the right role for him, good for that team. The Giants clearly weren't going to do it. They got a little value out of him, and hopefully he thrives with the Reds.

Thanks largely to his light-tower power and being a member of a pretty bad baseball team, Duvall was an All-Star this season and has put up 1.7 fWAR and 2.3 rWAR. How good the 27-year-old rookie Duvall actually is has yet to be determined though.

All that paints a picture. That picture sure look like the Royals would be lucky to return one future major league player even if they traded all three guys; and even that one probably won’t turn into star. If you want more than that, you’re probably going to have to trade an Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain or Wade Davis - guys the Royals are counting on to help them next season.