As someone old enough to remember the master himself, Cedric Tallis making trades like Harry Houdini, I recall him targeting someone of interest and then packaging present value to get those players, even though he often upset fans at the time. In 1971, Jim York was an upcoming relief pitcher who threw fireballs, and Tallis traded him, for John Mayberry? Richie Scheinblum was an All Star outfielder we had just discovered, and we traded him for Hal McRae? The guy who platooned with Bernie Carbo? At least we got Wayne Simpson, who was a rookie sensation three years before. Oh, he still had a sore arm? We had to be content with 15 years of McRae. Bob Johnson , he of 200 strikeouts, for Amos Otis, who refused to play third base for the Mets after he got a line drive in the you know what area and had to be traded? Each of these trades was predicated not on who we gave up, but for who targeted and got. We got an elite first baseman, an elite DH, and an elite center fielder. And these were only a fraction of the Tallis magic.
Tallis' last year, he fought with manager Jack McKeon, who was a favorite of Mrs. K and used to eat ice cream with her. Jack was a great manager, but not in Kansas City. Steve Busby, Paul Splittoroff, and others clashed with him publicly. He fired Charley Lau to the chagrin of George Brett and Hal McRae (Whitey Herzog later brought him back). In Tallis' last year, he unloaded a lot of discontents that would have helped us when we finally became good: Jim Rooker, Lou Piniella, Dick Drago, probably related to clashes with Trader Jack. A year later, Tallis got fired anyway when Mr K sided with McKeon. Later McKeon got fired, and we got back on track with the group that led us to be the best team in the AL West from 1976-1987. The big difference was that early on, Cedric was targeting players to bring to Kansas City, whereas in his last year, he was trading players away for lessers.
That brings us to the present day, when all I hear about is not what players we should acquire, but which ones we should trade. Huh? So and so is a good player, but we should trade him BEFORE HE REACHES AGE 31 or similar nonsense. Remember McRae started late and had his best seasons into his late 30's? (For example). We couldn't shouldn't/ wouldn't sign Andrew Benintendi, who was a good player who was young enough (less than 31) so we traded him. Whit and Michael Taylor could have been pieces of a playoff caliber team, but we had to trade them BEFORE WE WOULD LOSE THEM ANYWAY. Huh? Why would we lose them anyway if we paid them, instead of Hunter Dozier. The one time we targeted players was 2015 at the deadline, and we picked up Cueto and Zobrist (although we overpaid for sure) and won the World Series. But the next year, or two, we traded Wade Davis, putting us OUT of contention, for future prospect Jorge Soler, whom we then did not sign when his contract came up.We overpaid for Act 2 of Joakin Soria, and to get rid of his contract, threw in relief pitcher Scott Alexander, who STILL pitches for the Giants. And so on. We pay up, for the wrong players, and not for the right players, over and over again. Its not because of small market, its because of mismanagement. Oh, and the sign and trades (think of Moustakas and Milwaukee) could have been good but we gave up on the return too soon. Oh WHY AGAIN did we trade Richard Lovelady and pay big bucks for Yarbrough? Why did we DFA Junis?
This year, I hear over and over about how we NEED to trade Nicky Lopez (why?) who is decent enough and under club control for several more years, and let some AAAA player onto the field. Why not play Nicky at second and send back down Massey, Eaton, Isbel, and Melendez, each of whom is flawed, or who needs fine tuning. Let them EARN it. Play Nicky, play Fermin (he's earned a promotion to MLB), and target some long term project for one of the open positions. Don't trade just to trade, don't DFA decent players. Some New York team is "interested" in our relievers? So what? Do they have a constitutional right to Barlow or Staumont? If they are good, we should SIGN them. If the vaunted 2018 pitching class can't stay healthy or produce, DFA them. Its time.They are not decent players.
Develop a TEAM!. Develop a PHILOSOPHY. The Royals win with defense and speed and clutch hitting, and when they do, fans come, and then we have more money to pay the players who need to be paid.
So far this year, I have seen lackluster defense from our AAAA core, who should be hustling but aren't/ Would Hal McRae put them on the field? Why should we ?
Remember when KC was essentially the Yankees' minor league team under Arnold Johnson? That is who we have become.
Enough of a rant. However, I have seen the present and it looks like the distant past .
We don't HAVE to trade anyone, if we are sellers in midseason. We can, but don't have to. Unless we target someone and stick with them. Then, pay up.