DETROIT -- Royals general manager Dayton Moore has said for weeks that he planned on remaining all-in with this group of Royals, opting to buy ahead of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline rather than sell.Moore backed up that belief with a trade Monday with the San Diego Padres that
DETROIT -- Royals general manager Dayton Moore has said for weeks that he planned on remaining all-in with this group of Royals, opting to buy ahead of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline rather than sell.
Moore backed up that belief with a trade Monday with the San Diego Padres that should bolster the Royals' rotation and bullpen. The Royals acquired left-hander Ryan Buchter and right-handers Trevor Cahill and Brandon Maurer in exchange for left-handers Matt Strahm and Travis Wood, and Minor League infielder Esteury Ruiz.
A source indicated that the Royals also will pick up about $7.2 million left on Wood's two-year, $12 million deal.
• Royals players excited by Moore's trade with Padres
The Royals also announced they recalled left-hander Brain Flynn from Triple-A Omaha, and designated for assignment Al Alburquerque and right-hander Luke Farrell.
Moore said Cahill, 29, would slide into the rotation replacing Wood. Cahill was 4-3 with a 3.69 ERA with the Padres. He will be a free agent after this season. Buchter and Maurer give the Royals more depth setting up closer Kelvin Herrera.
"We felt we needed to make sure we strengthened our pitching staff," Moore said in a conference call. "Obviously, Trevor Cahill can slide into our rotation. Ryan and Brandon help deepen our 'pen. Our 'pen has been executing pitches well and getting outs. But as you know, as you go deeper into the season, it's incumbent on the bullpen to take the ball each and every night. More quality depth is what we shopped for."
Buchter, 30, was 3-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 42 relief outings for the Padres. Buchter, who has held lefties to a .175 average this season, will be under club control for four more seasons after the current one.
Maurer, 27, has served as the Padres' closer this season, converting 20 of his 23 save opportunities, including 15-straight since May 28. Overall, Maurer has a 5.72 ERA. The Royals will have club control with him for two more seasons.
"[Club control] was a big part of it," Moore said. "The control was huge. If we were to trade a pitcher like Strahm and a player like Ruiz, we wanted to be clear we wanted to strengthen us now and get better depth for the future.
"It's never easy trading young players. Matty Strahm has a terrific future. Ruiz is tearing up the Arizona Rookie League, but he's several years away. So it made sense to move forward. Travis Wood has pitched well and helped stabilize things for us and gave us some meaningful innings."
Strahm is on the 60-day disabled list with a torn patellar tendon in his left knee.
Cahill missed some time this season with a strained shoulder, but the Royals are confident in Cahill's health.
"Our medical team examined the records," Moore said. "We made the deal."
The Royals began Monday night 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Indians in the American League Central, and were tied with Tampa Bay for the second AL Wild Card spot.
"We're very excited," Moore said. "We always felt good about this team. Baseball is unpredictable. You go through phases. We got hot together, and cold together. But they have proved they can weather the storm and ride off the downturns and get off the mat. We're certainly in the thick of the race in our division. We thought we were better off to execute a deal sooner rather than later."
Moore also indicated the Royals might not be done dealing.
"We'll continue to monitor the situation," Moore said.
Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
With a 10.6 K/9 rate and a 56.8 percent ground-ball rate, Cahill has shown an enticing skill set this season. Now that he's headed to a Kansas City club that ranks fifth in baseball with 235 runs scored since June 1 and fields a much better defense than San Diego's, the right-hander should join the active lineup in every league. In the Royals' bullpen, Kelvin Herrera could get a slight boost in save chances as the anchor of an improved pitching staff, while Maurer can be dropped in all leagues as he settles into a middle-relief role. Meanwhile, Brad Hand (2.12 ERA, 1.00 WHIP in '17) should be added in most leagues despite the trade rumors that surround him, as he has the skills to be a solid closer for the duration of his time in San Diego.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.