Now that the Kansas City Royals have traded Zack Greinke and we're completely certain that 2011 will be an awful year as they prepare for Mission 2012 and beyond, who will be the next player traded? Will there be anyone else who will be dealt?
Royals GM Dayton Moore is dealing with a few things. First, as it always is, is money. if someone is getting too expensive, you'll have to deal him. Second, is the World Series window. Moore may not want someone who is going to be falling off their prime as the Royals minor leaguers are expected to hit. Likewise, they don't want guys that won't be ready for a while because they're two years away from competing (so we think).
So who will be next? As Will McDonald of Royals Review notes, there are two options -- Joakim Soria and Billy Butler.
On Soria, the Royals are informing teams that is not available, according to ESPN's Buster Olney. Royals Review also points out that his contract is very team-friendly until 2014.
On Butler, Royals Review says he should be the one that's look at as the next guy to be traded.
Butler, on the other hand, is at the moment only under team control through 2013. Heading into his first arbitration season, Butler's days as a cheap player are over (especially in 2012 and 2013, his second and third arbitration seasons. Butler is an established Major League 1B/DH at the tender age of 24, although his career numbers are a good not great .299/.359/.457. Helping the Royals is the fact that in the last three years, Butler has averaged 16 HRs and 75 RBIs. Those numbers will matter come arbitration time (or, as is more likely, in the pre-arb bargaining).
Check out Royals Review for the entire story but it's an interesting writeup. The potential Butler has is the reason the Royals should hang onto him AND the reason he would be good trade bait.