Only a couple of years ago, the Kansas City Royals were probably the best team in baseball, but a lot has changed since then and now the team has many tough decisions to make very soon. The Royals have basically the same core of players that it had in 2015, but those players just haven’t stepped up this year as they find themselves now as one of the worst teams in all of baseball with a 11-20 record so far this year. What’s most concerning for the Royals is the key players that are all set to leave after this season. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, and Jason Vargas are all free agents after the season. However, there is virtually no way that they will be able to keep all of those players around next season. That means they will either keep a few of those guys and be stuck in mediocrity for many years to come or they can trade most of those players before the trade deadline and start a lengthy rebuild. Neither of those options is good for Kansas City, but it is time for this team to start building their future. The Royals best option right now is probably to just start the lengthy rebuild and trade away many veteran players before they are lost in free agency for nothing. Kansas City has Salvador Perez, Alex Gordon, Jorge Soler, and Danny Duffy under contract for several years. However, those players are more of complementary players and none can carry the team by themselves. Meanwhile, the Royals need to at least get something by trading away players that are set to hit free agency like Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, and Jason Vargas. The only player that the Royals should try hard to retain is 1st baseman Eric Hosmer who is set to hit free agency as well this offseason. Hosmer is pretty much the only power threat in the Royals lineup and he is still young enough that he could be a big part of their future when the team is ready to contend again. The only issue is that he will probably want to join a contender this offseason rather than staying in Kansas City for a lengthy rebuild. Either way, the Royals need to sell off any veterans that they can this season in order to try and rebuild their farm system with young prospects. However, this team is several years from being relevant again even if they begin the rebuilding process soon.
The Chicago Cubs have seemingly been making at least one big move each offseason the past few years. They continued that trend on Wednesday by acquiring closer Wade Davis from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for outfielder Jorge Soler.
The Cubs had a really good closer with Aroldis Chapman last season and that’s maybe the one reason that they won the world series. However, with Chapman now gone then the Cubs badly needed a new closer. That is why the team decided to trade for Wade Davis from the Royals. Davis has been one of the best closers in the game the past few seasons as proven by his remarkable ERA since 2014. He clearly has the production to be considered the top closer in the MLB as he had a 1.00 ERA in 2014, a 0.94 ERA in 2015, and a 1.87 ERA in 2016. Davis doesn’t have the power arm that Chapman does obviously, yet Davis just is a veteran closer that finds a way to get the job done. He also was a key part of the Royals 2015 world series championship and the Cubs are going to be a playoff time as well in 2017. Chicago is hoping that he’ll show up and play really well in the postseason just like he did with Kansas City in 2015. The Cubs traded away Jorge Soler who is a really talented 24-year old outfielder. However, the Cubs have such a stacked roster especially in the outfield that they wouldn’t have been able to provide him quality playing time anyway. It makes sense to get rid of Soler and give him an opportunity for more playing time with the Royals, although he is still really talented and he could turn out to be a very good MLB player. Overall, the Cubs have probably the most complete roster in the MLB and don’t be surprised if they are playing for a world series title once again in 2017. They will need Davis to be the player that he was with the Royals and if he can be that type of player then this team will be hard to beat.
This move was probably a really tough decision for the Royals considering how great Wade Davis has been for their team for the past few years. However, Kansas City is looking for younger and cheaper players which is why they wanted Soler. He is under contract for the next 4 years for Kansas City at an extremely cheap price. Soler will only be making $3 million next season for the Royals which is a bargain considering how talented he is. The Royals badly needed a starting right fielder and Soler will certainly fill that need. Soler has shown tremendous power in limited playing time so far in his career. He hit 12 home runs in just 227 at-bats with the Cubs last season, but he does have a tendency to strike out a lot. He won’t bring much speed to the Royals as he only has 4 career stolen bases, although he does bring a solid arm and defensive skills to right field for the Royals. Soler is ready to contribute to Kansas City immediately, yet he still has a lot of room for improvement. We’ll see if Soler can turn into a really good player by putting his talent together, but he certainly makes the Royals outfield appear excellent for 2017. Losing Davis means the Royals bullpen will obviously be weaker than last season. However, the team still has Kelvin Herrera and Joakim Soria as solid late inning options in the Royals bullpen. This trade accomplishes Kansas City’s goal of getting some more young and cheap talent so that they can compete for many years. It was a tough trade to make, but it was a good trade since they are getting some young talent while also staying competitive.