Royals aren't pressing to make Deadline deal
GM Moore says club will weigh cost, fit for any potential acquisitions
KANSAS CITY -- While the Internet is abuzz with rumors attaching the Royals to the likes of Johnny Cueto, David Price and Cole Hamels, fans should keep this in mind:
Royals general manager Dayton Moore has never been a fan of making splashy deals at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Moore has made his two biggest bombshell trades in the offseason -- the Zack Greinke trade with the Brewers in 2010 and the trade for James Shields and Wade Davis with the Rays in '12.
"You tend to make your best deals in the offseason when they are more carefully thought out," a Royals official said recently. "You're not under the gun and not swayed by the standings. In November and December, you're thinking about the overall health of the organization, what's best for its future."
And, generally speaking, the Royals tend to build their team in the offseason in anticipation of having certain needs this time of year due to injury. That is why Kris Medlen was signed. And Chris Young. And Joe Blanton.
"You can't have enough depth," Moore said.
Even with the recent losses of left-hander Jason Vargas (torn left UCL) and All-Star outfielder Alex Gordon (groin injury), the Royals aren't necessarily desperate for replacements that might involve acquisition costs that could harm the organization's future. The core of this roster got the Royals to Game 7 of the World Series last year and now has the club possessing the best record in the American League and comfortably ahead in the AL Central.
Moore simply doesn't feel pressured to make a move.
"We don't feel like it's a must that we go out and add to this team we have right now," Moore told MLB.com. "If there's something that really makes sense for us, we'll try to execute. But it would have to really be the right fit and it would depend on the acquisition cost."
Moore and manager Ned Yost are always mindful of guarding the unique clubhouse culture the Royals have established.
"It's a group of guys that care for each other," Yost said. "And a group of guys dedicated to winning."
Added Moore, "We believe in this group. This team has strong chemistry. You want to make sure you do a complete evaluation on who you might add to clubhouse if you add someone."
Last year, the Royals added subtle pieces -- Jason Frasor and Josh Willingham -- while other teams, such as Oakland, went all-in on big-name additions like Jon Lester and Jeff Samardzija. The A's imploded in the second half while the Royals surged to Game 7 of the World Series.
"Every deal you make you expect to work," Moore said. "But there are no guarantees. The game isn't won in the conference room or in the coaches' room. There hasn't been a game yet won on paper."
The losses of Vargas and Gordon have inspired many observers to assume the Royals now are begging for another starting pitcher and another starting corner outfielder.
Meanwhile, the Royals seem to be covering Gordon's absence quite well with the platoon of Paulo Orlando and Jarrod Dyson. Orlando, since being recalled, has three homers and 10 RBIs in eight games, and has a walk-off grand slam. He also has a 1.013 OPS in that stretch. Dyson has made several miraculous defensive plays in left and had the decisive RBIs on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Pirates.
"Losing Alex is a big blow," Moore said. "But guys are stepping up in his absence. And we should get Alex back. It's not a season-ending injury."
Losing Vargas hurts the Royals, but he already had been on the disabled list twice this season and hasn't been a major factor overall. The Royals have done a good job of covering for Vargas' previous absences.
"I don't know if [losing Vargas] changes our approach," Moore said. "But it does hurt our depth. He was a big part of our team last year and we expected him to be a big part this year. We haven't had him much of the year. When we've had him, he's been great.
"But it's given an opportunity for other pitchers to step up. I believe they have and they will."
This is not to say the Royals won't walk away from potential deals that could improve the team.
"I like our depth," Moore said. "But we're evaluating opportunities just like everyone else. If a deal makes sense, we'll certainly do what we can to execute it."