The first domino has fallen in Kansas City. Carlos Santana's already suited up for the Mariners, and the Royals have moved on, plugging Hunter Dozier into first and bringing up some guy named Vinnie Pasquantino whose sole hit in 11 plate appearances has been a home run. While Salvador Perez is both hurt and locked up for a while, Michael Taylor and Whit Merrifield are locked up for a little whole longer, and Zack Greinke has made it clear that he wants to retire as a Royal [I think, I can never tell when he's being genuine], there is the feeling that this Royals team could be looking a lot different in a month or so.
I think the most obvious piece of this team that could move is Andrew Benintendi, because he's playing the best out of everyone on this team, and he's probably still pissed that the Red Sox traded him right before they got good again. The Sox could honestly try and get him back, and somebody like Houston, San Fran, Texas or Atlanta could make a deal for him. And honestly, I hope he does get to compete again, because he's certainly playing like a competitor.
Michael Taylor I'm murkier about. I said last year that Taylor made more of an impact to me on the Royals than he did in his entire career in Washington. I think Taylor's just better in smaller, noncompetitive markets. On those Nats teams he got shouted over a lot. Here he's got time to contact hit and play great outfield, and he's hitting .281 right now, which isn't too shabby whatsoever. He could very well get traded, I personally don't think he will.
And then there's people like Scott Barlow, Brad Keller and Nicky Lopez, all small pieces getting things done for the Royals this year who could get traded but whose contractual status is under such team-mandated murky waters that I'm genuinely not sure if they're gonna be dealt or not. Based on absolutely nothing, I feel like people might wanna trade for Brad Keller, but I don't know if they can or will.
And after the smoke clears, I'm not sure there's gonna be enough left to really base a palpable future on. Yes, Bobby Witt is the centerpiece, but beyond him there's really not a lot going on with this Royals team, and there's not a lot of people I can say with certainty will be here in a few more seasons. Maybe some of the pitchers, like Brady Singer, Daniel Lynch and Jonathan Heasley? I genuinely don't know what this team's gonna look like for the next few years. Maybe similar to this, a mishmash of old contracts and people they're trying out, until they can really land on something they can run on.
Coming Tomorrow- A shortstop for a team that is still the worst team in the NL, but are nowhere near as bad as they were.