The July 31 trade deadline is around the corner, and it will be the only trade deadline this year, with MLB eliminating August waiver trades. The Royals have already made three trades this month, sending Homer Bailey to the Athletics for minor league infielder Kevin Merrell, Martín Maldonado to the Cubs for pitcher Mike Montgomery, and outfielder Terrance Gore to the Yankees for cash considerations.
But the Royals may not be done, and there have certainly been some rumors about players still on the roster. Here is a summary of the latest Royals-related trade rumors, and we’ll be updating this leading up to the 3 p.m. CT deadline on July 31.
July 31: Cubs would “love” Merrifield.
Cubs would love Whit Merrifield. But the asking price has always been enormous and is said to remain so. KC loves him too.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 31, 2019
This trade proposal by MLB Network’s Mark DeRosa is something.
"I need Whit Merrifield leading off for the Chicago Cubs..."#MLBCentral | #TradeDeadline pic.twitter.com/jFjMfk70Cn— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 31, 2019
July 25: Jon Paul Morosi at MLB.com reports the Royals will not trade Whit Merrifield.
Despite interest from multiple contenders -- including the Cubs, Braves and Phillies -- the Royals are informing clubs that they will keep Merrifield beyond next week’s Trade Deadline, one source told MLB.com Thursday.
July 25: Jim Bowden at The Athletic reports the Cubs have “checked in” on Whit Merrifield.
July 14: Bruce Levine of 670 The Score in Chicago reported on the high asking price for Merrifield.
An ideal fit for the Cubs would be Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield, but Kansas City isn’t shopping him, sources said. That conversation is a non-starter unless the Royals receive three MLB-ready players who could help them right now, sources said.
June 17: Dayton Moore says it would take a “crazy” ask to move Whit Merrifield.
“It’s hard to predict,” Moore said of the type of package it would take to lure Whit away from the Royals. “You know, Whit is somebody that, you know, I think we gave away two or three Whit Merrifield autographed balls today. I mean, the players, the young people in our community identify with Whit. That’s really important for us. He’s, I believe, one of the best players in all of baseball right now. So, I mean, the ask would be just crazy.”
July 28: Eric Longenhagen at Fangraphs thinks the Royals could have gotten more for Diekman.
Kansas City didn’t get much back, though, and opposing teams I’ve spoken to about this deal think the Royals could have done better by waiting for needy contenders to sweat it out for a few days and offer more.
July 27: Jake Diekman has been traded to the Athletics for outfielder Dairon Blanco and pitcher Ismael Aquino
Dodgers appeared to be the frontrunner from the start. Diekman still on the Phillies’ and Nationals’ radar as well, per source. https://t.co/UE6uF3Ih0b— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) July 26, 2019
The Royals could be getting closer to trading Jake Diekman, according to a source. The Dodgers and Braves are believed to be two clubs showing serious interest in the lefty reliever.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 26, 2019
July 19: Jeffrey Flanagan reports that Jake Diekman is drawing interest from several teams.
Diekman perhaps is the most intriguing trade asset for the Royals, and he is drawing the most interest. The Dodgers and Nationals are known to be interested, and the Phillies scouted the Royals during the last homestand and had a scout on hand at Progressive Field on Friday.
July 30: The Royals have had some talks, but nothing imminent.
According to a source, the Royals have had some interest in some of their controllable pieces - Ian Kennedy, Tim Hill and Richard Lovely - but no deals appear to be close.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 31, 2019
July 26; Mark Bowman says Kennedy would be a fit in Atlanta.
The Braves have shown interest in Diekman. Ian Kennedy is another KC reliever who'd fit in Atlanta. There have also been recent conversations with the Rangers (Mike Minor and Jose LeClerc). But there hasn't been any recent talk with the Tigers (Greene, Castellanos and Boyd) https://t.co/Zo8vQ1RQwR— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) July 26, 2019
July 25: The Royals are not inclined to eat money in a potential deal for Ian Kennedy, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Rival clubs are expressing interest in Royals left-hander Danny Duffy and closer Ian Kennedy, but only if Kansas City pays down their respective contracts. The Royals are not inclined to make that type of deal, according to major-league sources.
July 25: Rosenthal speculates the Reds could have interest in Danny Duffy.
One of the Reds’ top evaluators watched Duffy pitch in Atlanta on Tuesday night. It’s not known whether Duffy was his focus, and starting pitching is the Reds’ strength. Still, acquiring Duffy could make sense in a buy-sell scenario that also involved a trade of right-hander Tanner Roark in a separate deal.
Here’s how it would work, and keep in mind, this is a thought exercise, not a report of actual discussions.
By trading Roark, a potential free agent, and acquiring Duffy, who is signed through ‘21, the Reds effectively would exchange a short-term asset for a long-term one. They then would be left with a rotation — for the rest of this season, at least — of Duffy, Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, Alex Wood and Anthony DeSclafani.
The Reds could absorb Duffy’s remaining salaries with little difficulty. Due to their large number of potential free agents, they stand to shed more than $50 million in salary at the end of the season.
July 30: Teams have asked about Alex Gordon.
Teams in touch with #Royals say they've gotten some tire-kicking on Alex Gordon but nothing serious enough to ask Gordon if he'd be willing to waive his trade-veto rights.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 30, 2019
And they're still taking the stance that it would take a hefty offer for them to move Whit Merrifield.
May 17: Gordo tells Jeffrey Flanagan he isn’t interested in playing anywhere else.
But the reality is that there is almost a zero percent chance Gordon will be dealt, primarily because as a 10-5 guy, Gordon can veto any deal. And Gordon has no interest in playing for another team.
“I don’t want to play anywhere else,” Gordon said. “Yeah, I want to retire as a Royal. I’ve established my family here with my kids. This is home.
July 30: Are scouts checking out Hamilton?
Less than 27 hours to the Trade Deadline. One expiring contract to go. Cubs and Yankees scouts were here last night. Braves, Phillies and Dodgers have hovered around the Royals for weeks. Who needs speed off the bench?— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) July 30, 2019
July 29: Jeffrey Flanagn hears there is still a market for Hamilton.
“There’s still a market for him,” one rival scout told MLB.com. “The return won’t be great, but he has value to a contender.”
July 14: Hamilton told Jeffrey Flanagan that there is interest in him.
“There’s definitely interest out there,” Hamilton said. “We don’t know anything specific. But I just have to keep doing my job, and if it happens, then it happens.”