I thought about writing a reaction to the big news from Monday that the Kansas City Royals will no longer be fraternizing with opposing players on the basepaths, but Craig Brown did quite the job on that story over at Royals Review.
Instead, we will discuss the trade deadline which as of the moment there are three key figures sitting on the Royals roster that should be moved, no matter the cost to the team.
First of all, closer Jonathan Broxton, he of the 2.27 era and 1.40 WHIP, does have 23 saves at the moment. That number is actually the second most in a single season for the big righty. He had 36 saves in 2009, one of his two All-Star seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There has been interest in Broxton, rumors associated with the Baltimore Orioles, San Francisco Giants, and Texas Rangers among others. He is signed to a rather friendly $4 million contract and will be a free-agent at the end of the season.
Ultimately he was brought on board to be a a reclamation project, and for that purpose he has been serviceable. When closer Joakim Soria went under the knife and was lost for the season, Broxton then stepped into the closing role.
Broxton has established at least mild value and any return is exactly what the Royals should be looking at. A team nearing 20 games under .500 just over 100 games into the season doesn't need a true closer, and the Royals certainly have people in the bullpen who could fill the void and gain experience for the future.
It all bodes well, the Royals will decline the option for Soria next season, but can likely pick him up on a restructured contract next season. Broxton simply isn't a part of the long-term future with the organization, so why keep him around? Cash in your chips and take your return. That is what he was brought here for anyway.
Moving on to Jeff Francouer, he has regressed to .238/.275/.366 which is actually closer to the norm than last year's modest success he had at the plate. Keep in mind Wil Myers slugged his 31st and 32nd home runs of the minor league season at AAA Omaha (after starting the year at AA Northwest Arkansas).
Like Broxton, Francouer is nothing more than a stop gap, and that stop gap isn't needed anymore. Myers has certainly proved he is worthy of being called up. Might he struggle once he gets here? Certainly, his numbers may look similar to Francouer's, but they also couldn't get much worse. The Royals might as well call up Myers and let him get some experience under his belt during a lost season.
The value for Francouer isn't really there because of his contract, but if the Royals have to DFA him, so be it.
Lastly, we have Yuniesky Betancourt. Betancourt is hitting .232/.260/.406 with seven home runs and 35 RBI. He has walked just nine times in 207 at-bats. He signed to a one-year contract for $2 million. Now Betancourt does have occasional pop, but his defense is quite questionable. The Royals would likely be able to get something in return, even if it is an older A pitcher with a high ERA.
In 72 games at Omaha, Johnny Giavotella is hitting .332/.420/.509 with 10 home runs and 55 RBI. That follows up a season in which he hit .338/.390/.481 for the Stormchasers in 2011.
Regardless of what Giavotella has done at the major league level, he certainly is deserving of an extended look on the big league club.
We shall see what the rest of the day brings, but as most Royals fans know, it may not be worth holding your breath on the most positive outcome.
For more news and notes on the Royals, make sure to head on over to Royals Review.