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Royals Rumblings - News for July 21, 2022

The boys. They are back in town.

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Seattle Mariners v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

J.J. Picollo says the Royals are open to trading Zack Greinke, contrary to other reports.

Asked if the Royals had an agreement not to trade Greinke, Picollo said, “No. There’s nothing contractually. We’ll treat Zack Greinke the exact same way we’ll treat any other player. If the return is a good return, then we’ll look at it.”

Sam McDowell thinks this may be the last we see of Whit Merrifield in Kansas City.

For years, they have weighed the possibility of trading Merrifield — one of their most consistent hitters — but a combination of underwhelming offers and the desire to preserve a couple of veteran leaders spoke loudest. The Royals have long believed they owed the fans a reason to show up to the ballpark, a stance we can debate another day.

In the end, Merrifield’s comments necessitate the Royals exercise the trade he seems to want, and one they were likely already investigating anyway. Because even if you subtract the vaccination and ensuing quotes from this equation, it’s still the right baseball move. Merrifield is 33 — he’ll turn 34 in January — and it’s become clear the Royals’ rebuild is moving at a pace too slow for him to be a pillar of the other side.

Vahe Gregorian is ready to see the kids play.

The long weekend was a small sample size, to be sure. But it also seemed a meaningful snapshot to see prospects Nick Pratto (4 for 14 with a double and a home run), Michael Massey (3 for 8), Nate Eaton (first career home run to help the Royals win 3-1 on Thursday) and others stoke this team. That contrast conjures thoughts about what we haven’t been seeing much of this season as the Royals remain stranded in this tedious phase of rebuilding. So if those three are to be part of the future, we wonder, why not engage the future now?

MLB.com has mid-season reports on each team.

What has been especially encouraging for the Royals has been their offense under the guidance of hitting coordinator Alec Zumwalt. Several young hitters are beginning to shine, including Bobby Witt Jr. and Vinnie Pasquantino, and if the final series before the break showed anything, it’s that the offensive future is bright with more talent on the way. The second half should shed more light on who best fits long term and what the Royals need to do to complement them moving forward. Midterm Report: Work To Do

Anne Rogers writes about Austin Charles, an intriguing two-way player the Royals selected in Round 20.

When Royals scouting director Danny Ontiveros looks at Charles, he thinks of when he first saw a current Major Leaguer back in high school.

“I saw Aaron Judge — and I don’t want to say [Austin is] Aaron Judge — at Linden High School when [Judge] was a little raw, but you saw the body and the athleticism,” Ontiveros said. “When you look at Austin, to me, that’s the first thing that comes to mind. Different positions, and Judge didn’t pitch, but you’re talking about a 6-foot-6 athlete, a guy that can move. [Charles] is playing shortstop at 6-foot-6 and he’s making it look kind of easy.

“It’s just a mold of clay that you can build, and the ceiling is just very high.”

Keith Law reviews each team’s draft class.

Auburn right-hander Mason Barnett (3) has first-round stuff, sitting 94-95 with two sharp breaking balls in his slider and curve, but has a very long arm action that he doesn’t repeat well enough, throwing just 62 percent of his pitches for strikes this spring. I do get the appeal of the pure stuff, but right now he seems more likely to end up a reliever than a starter.

Marcus Meade at Royals Farm Report sees a plan in how the Royals drafted.

If someone showed me a generic organization and said “This is a small-market team with a good track record of developing hitting but a terrible track record developing pitching,” I’d advise that team to do exactly what the Royals did in the 2022 draft. Use their most valuable draft resources to take hitters they can maximize and try to find pitching later. The Royals have actually had some success developing backend starters and bullpen pieces. Jon Heasley looks like he may stick at the back end of their rotation. Jonathan Bowlan looks like he may be an effective starter once he fully recovers from Tommy John. Rounds 3-10 are for finding effective backend and bullpen guys, and that’s exactly what the Royals did in rounds 3-10.

A former Royals employee at the Urban Youth Academy sues the team alleging racial discrimination.

The winners and losers from the MLB All-Star game.

Clayton Kershaw had a touching moment with fan after the All-Star Game.

MLBPA boss Tony Clark is hopeful for expansion.

Which teams had the best draft hauls?

The Guardians could be in the market to add a hitter.

Scott Boras says Nationals’ Juan Soto offer wasn’t in ‘range of consideration’.

Will this be the worst season in Cubs history?

Draft slotting may be scrutinized now that MLB’s anti-trust exemption is being questioned.

A closer look at how athletes defect from Cuba.

Ben Clemens at Fangraphs looks at the worst swings from the first half.

An adult website offers $20 million to the Yankees to become their jersey patch sponsor.

The top Madden 23 ratings at each position.

Sean O’Malley will face former bantamweight champion Petr Yan at UFC 280.

Scientists detect a mysterious radio signal from a distant galaxy.

Is the Netflix movie model broken?

The 50 greatest fictional deaths of all time.

Your song of the day is Dobie Gray with Drift Away.