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What to know about the Royals and the 2023 MLB trade deadline

We’ve already seen two Royals trades, will there be more?

Kansas City Royals Introduce Matt Quatraro as Manager Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The official MLB trade deadline is Tuesday, August 1 at 5 p.m. CT., but the Royals have already made a pair of trades.

On June 30, the Royals sent pitcher Aroldis Chapman to the Rangers for outfielder Roni Cabrera and pitcher Cole Ragans. Chapman had resurrected his trade value after a rough ending to last season, and was throwing 100 mph past hitters. For three months of his services, the Rangers gave up a 25-year-old lefty in Ragans who can throw in the mid-to-high-90s and had a 5.32 ERA in 64 13 big league innings. He has some control issues but is capable of starting or relieving, and has already looked impressive in one MLB start for the Royals.

On July 30, the Royals sent infielder Nicky Lopez to the Braves for pitcher Taylor Hearn. Hearn was acquired by the Braves just last week in a cash deal from the Rangers after he had been designated for assignment. The 28-year-old has been up and down with the Rangers in parts of the last five seasons and has a 5.26 ERA with 219 strikeouts in 229 13 innings as a starter and reliever.

Who else could the Royals deal? Scott Barlow is sure to garner some interest, even though he has had a rough couple outings recently that have ballooned his ERA. Carlos Hernández has drawn some interest, although the Royals may not want to trade a player they already control for many seasons. The Dodgers were reported to have checked in on Brady Singer, but no traction on a deal materialized. There has even been some talk of the Royals trading All-Star Salvador Perez, although it seems unlikely considering his contract, his ability to veto any deal, and the intangible value he brings to the franchise.

J.J. Picollo has publicly stated a preference for MLB-ready players that can add to the core they have and help them improve for 2024.

“When you have guys on major-league teams and you’re trading them for three or four minor-league prospects and years of control, that’s really not the direction we want to go in. So we’re a little bit in a gray area right now when it comes to that type of player.”

But he remains open-minded to any deal that can help out the long-term.

“I think we can add anywhere,” he said. “You want to add (to) your own farm system, you want to add to your major-league team. We have more of an interest based on the core of our team right now that we think is our future, to adding pieces that will help put that team together. That’s our preference.

“But if there’s a deal out there that makes us feel like this is going to help us long term, I don’t think we can ignore it either. So we can go either way.”

If the Royals are planning on trying to improve the team for 2024, they could certainly use an outfielder, another starting pitching option, and some bullpen help. But really, a team as far back in the standings as the Royals could use help anywhere, with long-term options sought to upgrade the roster.

It has been an early trade season around baseball with a number of deals completed already.

  • The Mets sent pitcher Max Scherzer to the Rangers for shortstop Luisangel Acuna
  • The Rockies sent first baseman C.J. Cron and outfielder Randal Grichuk to the Angels for pitchers Jake Madden and Mason Albright
  • The Cardinals sent pitchers Jordan Montgomery and Chris Stratton to the Rangers for infielder Thomas Saggese and pitchers John King and Tekoah Roby
  • The Cardinals sent pitcher Jordan Hicks to the Blue Jays for pitchers Adam Kloffenstein and Sem Robberse
  • The White Sox sent pitcher Kendall Graveman to the Astros for catcher Korey Lee
  • The White Sox sent pitchers Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly to the Dodgers for outfielder Trayce Thompson and pitchers Nick Nastrini and Jordan Leasure
  • The Mets sent pitcher David Robertson to the Marlins for catcher Ronny Hernandez and infielder Marco Vargas.
  • The Guardians sent shortstop Amed Rosario to the Dodgers for pitcher Noah Syndergaard
  • The Pirates sent first baseman Carlos Santana to the Brewers for infielder Jhonny Severino
  • The White Sox sent pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez for catcher Edgar Quero and pitcher Ky Bush
  • The Marlins traded pitcher Dylan Floro to the Twins for pitcher Jorge Lopez
  • The Red Sox traded infielder Enrique Hernandez to the Dodgers for pitchers Justin Hageman and Nick Robertson
  • The Rockies traded pitcher Pierce Johnson to the Braves for pitcher Victor Vodnik