ESPN's Buster Olney recently unveiled a column detailing each team's potential plans leading up to the MLB trade deadline, and fans of the Kansas City Royals might not like what they read. Olney believes that the Royals inconsistency will likely keep them from making any real push toward a division title, even in a season where the AL Central is remarkably winnable.
Olney writes, "Every time they run off a few wins, they eventually slide back because of their significant problem -- they just don't have much in the way of starting pitching, ranking 28th in baseball in ERA. The Royals might be candidates for some incremental moves to improve the rotation, but with the team now 7½ games out of first in the AL Central, it seems just as likely K.C. will swap some of its secondary pieces. The Royals don't look ready to climb quite yet."
The Royals could easily sell off a couple of pieces like Jonathan Broxton if the right deal came along. However for a rotation already in shambles, you can't loot the bullpen for future assets and sink the current ship too much. The Royals have a good thing going and their starting pitching woes can at least rely on a stable bullpen with several capable arms. Shipping off Broxton could force the wheels to come off the whole thing.
For now, the Royals are still in the mix for the division but are hardly impressing leading into the All-Star Break. The final series against the Tigers will hopefully show some signs of life.