Piccolo: Royals don’t need to be aggressive on trade deadline

Kansas City Royals' Whit Merfield returns to the bunker after a hit against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first half of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Kansas City, Missouri (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

Kansas City Royals’ Whit Merfield returns to the bunker after a hit against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first half of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Kansas City, Missouri (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

AP

In the wake of the trade that sent Andrew Benentende to the New York Yankees last week, Kansas City Royals general manager JJ Piccolo didn’t look like an executive who was ready to sit through the rest of the Major League Baseball trade deadline.

That was true on Monday, when Piccolo struck two deals, taking left bowler Anthony Messivic of the Seattle Mariners for cash considerations and trading third baseman Emmanuel Rivera to Arizona for right-handed Luke Weaver.

But Picollo left open the possibility that members of the royal family would keep the rest of their players.

The deadline for MLB teams to execute deals is 5 p.m. Central time on Tuesday. The royals seem to be nearing the end of the transition period with their slate.

“The remaining players have years on their contracts, so we don’t have to be the aggressor,” Piccolo said last week. β€œ…I think it will be fun. I don’t know where you are going. If the players in this team are with us next year, it is not a bad thing.

β€œIt’s really a question of whether or not we can improve our team or our organization going forward with these players. And that will be determined by the level of interest and competition that might be there to get any one player.”

Members of the royal family have promoted a raft of their best local players to majors, such as shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., musketeer MG Melendez, first pitcher Vinny Pasquantino and Nick Prato, as well as novice shooters Brady Singer, Daniel Lynch, Chris Bobick and Jonathan Hesley. The royals seem to have a core to build around for the future.

In theory, this gives royals the flexibility to trade players who might covet teams competing in a playoff race and/or players who could be free agents in the near future and might not be part of the royal family when their young core is. In his prime.

Players who are members of the royal family who are said to be commercial targets or who have been the subject of commercial discussions include:

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The Ramys’ Scott Barlow (58) got the win when the Cleveland Guardians hit Miles Straw in their ninth season opener Thursday, April 7, 2022, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. The royal family won 3-1. Tammy Youngblad tljungblad@kcstar.com

Scott Barlow’s relief jug

The Royals’ Pitcher of the Year last season and the most reliable member of their Bulls game in terms of production and durability. Entering play on Sunday, he was one of three players in the tournament with (Baltimore’s Jorge Lopez and New York Yankees’ Clay Holmes) with 40 or more appearances, four or more wins and 15 or more saves.

Of Barlow’s 16 best saves this season, six have come in situations where he has scored at least four wins. This has led to him being linked with former royal family bowler Lopez in the most tackles of the season.

In 44 appearances (47 2/3 innings) this season, Barlow has scored a 2.45 ERA, with 46 hits, 1.07 WHIP and 0.218 batting average for an opponent.

He is under team control, eligible to referee, until the end of the 2024 season.

Player/Defensive Player Wyatt Murrayfield

Every star started twice at every position on the court except for shortstop, masquerade, and pitcher. He is a former MLB champ as well as a stolen base champ. His 553-game railroad wrapped up earlier this summer, but he’s been remarkably solid.

Murrayfield, 33, has a team-friend contract that runs until next season with an optional year in 2024.

Having made a slow offensive start to the season with a slash of .135/.177/.164 during his first 26 games, Murrayfield looked more like his usual self over the last 68 games and slashed 0.280/.333/415 during that time.

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Relief throw by Josh Stomon of the Kansas City Royals against the New York Yankees during a baseball game, Sunday, May 1, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann) Reed Hoffman AP

Relief jug by Josh Stomont

One of the toughest pitchers of the major tournaments in recent years, Staumont has appeared in five matches since being discharged from the injury list on July 15 (neck strain).

In 34 appearances this season (30 2/3 innings), he has scored a 4.11 ERA with 35 hits, 1.53 WHIP and 0.223 batting average for an opponent.

The four-stud fastball averaged 96.2 mph this season, while his dive averaged 97.2 mph. During the 2020 season that has been cut short by the pandemic, his average fastball speed reached 98 mph (four stitchers) and 99 mph (burst).

Stomont, 28, did not reach his first year of judging on salary until next season.

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Kansas City Royal’s Michael A. Taylor battles the Houston Astros during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 5, 2022, in Kansas City, Missouri (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann) Reed Hoffman AP

Midfielder Michael A. Taylor

Winner of the Gold Glove on the field and ranked as one of the best defensive players of any position in the major leagues last season, Taylor enjoyed the best offensive season of the year at the age of 31.

Taylor entered this week with a slash of .278/.348/.394 in 74 games. He was also tied for the most defensive rounds saved (eight) from any major-slam quarterback, along with Cleveland’s Miles Straw. He also ranked fifth among the midfielders in the Final Defensive Zone classification.

Taylor signed an end-of-season extension that runs until the end of the 2023 season.

This story was originally published August 1, 2022 1:00 p.m.

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he has covered high school, team and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call, and The Salt Lake Tribune. He has won awards in sports articles and sports columns.

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