Dayton Moore cannot bury his head in a bucket and do nothing in the next seven days. His team is not good enough and will not get hot enough and will not improve enough to be neither a buyer or a seller at the trade deadline.It was fun to have Mike Moustakas hit two home runs in a game and threaten the Mendoza line. It’s also a great thing when your manager actually uses his three best relief pitchers to get four innings of work and Bruce Chen – freaking Bruce Chen – came through with a nice effort. Winning’s fun, the Royals should do more of it.
Let’s look in the mirror, however, Mr. Moore and realize that this team you have so patiently constructed in eight/nine years of service is what it is. The Kansas City Royals right now are going to win about 81 games. With rare exception, winning between 78 and 84 games in a season is about the worst thing you can do in baseball: good enough to be respectable, close enough to not sell off pieces, but not enough wins to be a post-season participant of any relevance.
If this is a ‘go for it year’ and it sure seems like it was supposed to be, then Dayton Moore needs to buy and buy big. On the other hand, if Alex Rios, Ben Zobrist and Ian Kennedy still doesn’t get this team into more than a one game play-in, then swallow your pride and sell.
To be honest, I know in my head that the Royals need to sell. Take a look at the Dodgers’ bullpen: what would they give for Wade Davis or Greg Holland or, hell, even Aaron Crow at this point?
My heart, if only to keep things exciting for a while, kind of leans toward buying. Some of that comes from my skepticism of the Royals being able to consistently develop prospects. Is the return on James Shields better than a compensation draft pick? I don’t care, I am weary of coveting draft picks. Basically, I’d rather have someone else’s Sean Manaea from two years ago than our Sean Manaea.
What I fear the most and, frankly, expect the most is for Dayton Moore to neither buy nor sell. We will be told that there just wasn’t the value for value trade out there. That this group is good enough and ‘we like are team’ and whatever clumsy rhetoric this organization will toss out to us.
The Royals will have a nice little hot streak, get close, and then fall back: probably end up 84-78 and be set up in 2015 to win 84 or 85 wins again. It’s better than losing 100 games a year, but it will get really, really annoying three or four years in a row.
Buy or sell. Pick one, but for godssake do one or the other in a big way.