I fully understand those who get frustrated this time of year with all the trade rumors.  There is no real way to tell when a writer or commentator is just making stuff up (like I do sometimes), has actual inside knowledge or is being fed a line by a front office or agent to drum up interest.  I know of some who just get driven bat blank crazy over it all.

Hell, even when rumors turn out to be true (yes, the Royals once had Mike Sweeney traded for Casey Kotchman and Ervin Santana and yes, they almost picked Chris Sale instead of Christian Colon) there are those who simply refuse to believe it.   That’s fair.   If you are in that pack, don’t read on:  you’ll get frustrated, say something mean and make me sniffle.

First off, if you’re not having fun being a Royals’ fan right now, you need to start.  Even if you don’t believe this team is going to contend all year, have some freaking fun.  Winning baseball is fun and you can have fun, be excited and still be logically realistic.  It’s okay.  Hell, you can even listen to Nickelback if you want on the way to the ballpark tonight.

However, let’s get realistic (for one sentence).  Dayton Moore can say all he wants, but if he really believes this team is set to make a playoff run ‘as-is’ then he’s not doing his job.  Can this exact Royals’ team win the Central or, at least, get into the Wild Card game?  Maybe.  I don’t see it winning a seven game series in the playoffs.   That said, I don’t think this version of the Royals is terribly far away from being a team that could win a real playoff series.

Back to happy fantasy land….

Last week I proposed trading from Scott Van Slyke and Ben Zobrist.  I still like the idea of Zobrist as you can slot him into at least four positions.  That said, MLBTrade Rumors (rumors!  rumors!) has a report that the Rangers might be a seller if they continue to be wracked by injuries.  Alex Rios is a name that popped up – when hasn’t Alex Rios popped up at trade time? – and he has some warts.

Rios (33 years old) has been caught stealing eight times this year and grounded into FIFTEEN double plays.  He has been known to be pout or maybe even quit, but it is hard to believe he would do so playing everyday on a contender.   Rios, however, has a .319/.350/.462 line with 26 extra base hits.   He is expensive ($12.5 million this year with a $13.5 million team option for 2015) which is probably as much a blessing as a curse when it comes to working out a trade for him.

You want to dream a little?  What about trading for Rios to play right and Joakim Soria:  turning a very good bullpen into a silly great bullpen.  With the organization correctly concerned about how many innings Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy throw this year, how’d you like to line up Soria, Davis and Holland (with Kelvin Herrera in reserve) and limit both Ventura and Duffy to six innings or less per start for the next couple of months?

Pure, ridiculous speculation, but the thought intrigues me.   Now, what of the cost?

Again, Rios is due a bunch of money next year if the Rangers want to keep him.  If Texas determines they are out of it, what would there level of interest be in a 34 year old rightfielder with some issues and a closer who will be 31 years old next year and due $7 million (another team option)?  The Rangers are not dumb and they will demand value in return, but they also might not need ‘major league ready value’.

If the Royals could do a deal that did not involve anyone on the current major league roster, would you be onboard?  How in love with Kyle Zimmer (who has not thrown a pitch this year) or Raul Mondesi (who is A ball) or really anyone in the system?  My untouchable is Hunter Dozier.  After that, I am not sure I have a player that is not part of the discussion.

I know, I know – let’s enjoy the fun.  The FIRST PLACE Royals are going to play in front of  a full house tonight.  That is the focus.  I guy can do a little dreaming while he watches though, right?