Royals send 1B Nick Pratto to the Astros for SP Hunter Brown and OF Jose Siri.
Reason: Royals are creating a bit of a logjam at 1B/DH with Pasquantino, Perez, & Melendez all figuring to get a lot of AB's there. Of course, Pratto has played some OF as well as Melendez, but the Royals need pitching and this deal gets them an MLB ready arm that the Astros have no room for. The Astros currently have 7 SP's in front of Brown on the depth chart, all of which will still be under contract in 2023. Siri brings a powerful bat to the Royals OF and a great athletic profile with plenty of speed. He strikes out a fair bit, but should be a great addition to any of the 3 OF positions where the Royals don't have a lot of depth.
From the Astros perspective, they get a gold glove level defender at 1B and a powerful bat to fit right in that line-up. He would be the successor to Yuli Gurriel who has posted a 94 wRC+ this year and is not under contract for 2023.
Royals send CF Michael Taylor to the Yankees for LHP Ken Waldichuk & INF Oswaldo Cabrera.
Reason: Yankees are rumored to be interested in Taylor who is having a career year while playing gold glove defense. He's under a team-friendly contract through 2023 and will offer relief to an OF core they'll want to keep healthy in New York. The left-handed Waldichuk is another near-ready MLB pitcher the Royals would love to acquire, something Dayton Moore has prioritized in past trades (MLB ready players). Waldichuk has followed up a good 2021 with a fantastic 2022 thus far, posting a 2.44 ERA split between AA and AAA while striking out 106 in 70 IP.
Oswaldo Cabrera came into the 2022 season on the back of a huge 2021 season where he hit 29 HR's in AA. He's currently ranked as the Yankees 13th best prospect, but has struggled mightily this year in AAA in what has been an injury plagued season. He offers good flexibility as he can play SS, 2B, and 3B, but doesn't seem to be a long term option for the Yankees if their other highly regarded prospects pan out. This not only would give the Royals some depth, but may even be an option as an everyday third baseman in 2023.
Royals send LF Andrew Benintendi and RP Scott Barlow to the Blue Jays for LHP Ricky Tiedemann & RHP Yosver Zulueta.
Reason: The Blue Jays would like to get a stronger bat in the OF rather than continuing to give consistent playing time to Raimel Tapia and his 83 wRC+. Benintendi coming over, along with his 125 wRC+ gives the Blue Jays everything they'd want. A gold glove defender with a consistent bat that could get in base in front of their power hitters. Additionally, their bullpen has struggled mightily this year and acquiring Barlow helps shorten games and he's under team control until 2025.
From the Royals perspective, Ricky Tiedemann has ace potential. This would be a lot to give up for the Blue Jays, and something they may not be willing to do, but they still have other promising pitching prospects in the minors. The 19 year old Tiedemann has split between A and A+ this season, with a very impressive 2.13 ERA and 103 K's in 67.2 IP. Zulueta is a project of sorts. He has one of the best arms in the minors according to scouts but hasn't put it all together yet. He frequently touches 100 MPH with his fastball with nasty movement. He's been working back from a 2021 injury, so he's old for the levels he's been pitching at this year (24 y/o with 9 starts in A and A+). He struggled in A+ but was still promoted to AA recently given his age, where he's been "okay" in 2 starts so far. If acquired, the Royals should give him every opportunity to continue starting, but if all else fails he has the makings of a dominant reliever.
Royals send 2B/RF Whit Merrifield & RP Taylor Clarke & $5M to the Phillies for LHP Andrew Abbott & INF Hao Yu Lee.
Reason: The Phillies currently possess the 3rd WC spot and are aiming for a playoff birth. They're getting almost nothing out of their 2B position with a struggling rookie at the helm (Bryson Stott). This gives the Phillies a veteran former gold glove 2B who has hit .273 since June 1. In addition to Merrifield, the Phillies would receive a reliable bullpen arm in Clarke, who has been dominant since June 15. To help offset Merrifield's contract in 2024, the Royals sent $5M in this deal.
The Royals acquire yet another SP prospect in this deal, 2021 2nd round pick Andrew Abbott. After dominating in A+ earlier this season, Abbott has really struggled in AA in 10 starts (6.11 ERA) but he still has the stuff to be a good major league starter one day. Given the state of the Royals rotational depth, they need to acquire all the depth they can in hopes to get a good rotation one day relatively soon. Hao Yu Lee is a 19 year old A Ball lottery ticket from Taiwan. He's posted very impressive numbers in 2022 in 187 PA's and can play SS, 2B, 3B.
Royals send UTIL Hunter Dozier & C Cam Gallagher to the Mets for RHP Joel Diaz and LHP Nathan Lavender.
Reason: Mets are said to be looking for another bat and Dozier's bat may be a perfect fit. He doesn't come at a huge cost and he's posted a 115 wRC+ this year. He can play 3B, 1B, RF but isn't great defensively at any, so they may prefer to DH him on most days. Additionally, the Mets continue to have injury problems with their starting catcher, James McCann, who just landed on the IL again. Rather than promote top prospect Francisco Alvarez who needs more time after just getting promoted to AAA, Cam Gallagher would be a nice piece and better than what they're currently playing in McCann's absence.
In return, the Royals receive 18-year-old A ball pitcher Joel Diaz who has struggled this season with an 8.64 ERA in 6 games. He's a decent lottery ticket and project out of the Dominican Republic. Also coming over is left-handed relief pitcher Nathan Lavender who is posting great numbers in A+ this year.
So that's it. I'm sure I've overvalued the return on some of these deals, and I'm positive none will happen, but they're fun ideas I'd love to see. In the end, the moral of the story is we need to be trading all of these guys and acquiring starting pitching.