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Royals Rumblings - News for June 20, 2018

Was money a factor in the Herrera deal?

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Tampa Bay Rays v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for June 20, 2018

In his Mellinger Minutes, Sam Mellinger weighs in on the Kelvin Herrera trade.

Moore and his assistants have been working on this and other trades for weeks, maybe months. Club officials had expressed frustration that teams weren’t willing to trade more top-shelf talent, but they have also long ignored prospect rankings and trusted their own eyes...

The Royals’ self-trust has backfired at times, the same way conventional wisdom has backfired on others. But it also helped produce back-to-back pennants, and one of the most remarkable accomplishments in modern baseball history — a small-market champion, pulled up from the bottom.

We will see soon enough whether the Royals were right here. We will see soon enough more trades, with Mike Moustakas the most logical candidate, though the market is said to be cold and Royals fans likely to be disappointed with the return.

Craig Brown at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City wonders about the role of money in the deal.

It’s folly to immediately cast judgement on any deal involving prospects in the lower minors, and that’s the case here. That fact alone makes this trade problematic. In Herrera, the Royals had one of the best relief arms on the market, a closer who has a track record of success and is enjoying one of his best stretches of relieving to date. Perhaps they could have gathered a stronger prospect had they decided to kick in a little of the cash still owed to Herrera, but we know that’s not how the Glass family rolls. Despite all the plaudits the family has collected since hiring Moore over 12 years ago for staying relatively out of the way, they still have ultimate control over payroll and that is something that has impacted this team. They wouldn’t add salary in the 2015 stretch run and that cost them some extra prospect value in the Johnny Cuteo and Ben Zobrist deals. Could they have gotten a better return if they kicked in some cash this time around?

Rustin Dodd talks to Kelvin Herrera about his early days with the Royals, and the transition to playing in the United States.

For Herrera, though, the most frustrating part was his inability to communicate at a level that felt right. He had always possessed a sharp intellect and wit; he liked to tell funny stories; his humor bordered on sarcastic. Yet he found himself struggling to grasp the contours of a new language. He could not express himself fully. His stories were limited. He would misinterpret a command from a coach, such as a bunt play where he needed to cover third base.

“He’s explaining that to you in English,” Herrera says. “But you don’t understand what he’s saying. And then you probably do it wrong. And the coach thinks: ‘Oh, this guy is not ready yet.’ But it’s not because you don’t know the play. It’s because you don’t know what’s going on.”

Eric Longenhagen at Fangraphs scouts the players the Royals received in the deal.

We have each of them evaluated as big-league role players. Gutierrez is probably a low-end regular or bench/platoon option at third base and, down the line, a couple other positions. If he alters his approach in a way that coaxes out more of his average raw power in games, he could be more than that. Perkins has a bit more variability because he hasn’t been switch-hitting for very long (he only started in 2016) and might yet grow into some competency as a left-handed hitter, but his lack of in-game power might also undercut his walk rate at upper levels of the minors — and in the big leagues, too — because pitchers are going to attack him without fear that he’ll do any real damage on his own. He also might become such a great defensive center fielder that he plays every day despite providing little offensive value.

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports the Angels and Dodgers were engaged in serious talks with the Royals about Kelvin Herrera before he was dealt to Washington.

Salvy is still far back in All-Star voting.

Royals prospect Nick Pratto was named MVP of the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. Here is Seuly Matias hitting some dingers during the Home Run Derby.

Royals supplemental pick Jackson Kowar struck out a career high 13 in an impressive College World Series performance against Texas.

Clayton Kershaw will make a rehab start in Omaha on Saturday.

Why the Kelvin Herrera trade may be the start of something big for the Nationals.

Who are the best MLB players who also played in the College World Series?

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