Inbox: Who might Royals move at Deadline?

Beat reporter Jeffrey Flanagan fields Kansas City fans' questions

June 28th, 2018

KANSAS CITY -- Roughly five weeks remain until the non-waiver Trade Deadline, and it's a sure bet the Royals and general manager Dayton Moore will be active as they continue their stated offseason goal of restocking the farm system and focusing on the rebuild.
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With that in mind, let's get to this week's Inbox:

The Royals are 30 games under .500, and certainly Moore and his staff do not want this team to be historically bad. But that shouldn't get in the way of the Royals dealing anyone they can to upgrade their farm system and push along that rebuild. The only player not likely to be dealt is catcher , whom Moore has said simply wouldn't get big enough of a return to merit a deal.
But the Royals will listen to all other offers, and that includes Whit Merrifield and Danny Duffy. Logically, players on one-year deals are the most likely to be dealt. And that starts with Mike Moustakas and -- if there is a market for a defender who is showing he can play multiple positions.
Certainly the Royals will try to move and possibly if a team needs a defensive-minded backup catcher. So much depends on other teams' injury situations. The Angels, for example, just lost Zack Cozart for the season. One would think they've already engaged in conversations with Moore about Moustakas, especially as the Angels continue to fall in the American League West.
And interestingly, if shows he can handle the closer's role -- something I advocated starting back in Spring Training -- he might be an asset as well.

I'm guessing you'll see Frank Schwindel at some point, and possibly Ryan O'Hearn, as well. Schwindel caught manager Ned Yost's eye in Spring Training, and he has been raking the ball lately. Neither player is on the 40-man roster, but after the Trade Deadline, several spots should open up. But it might not be until September that either player gets here. With coming back from the suspended list, coming off the disabled list in August, showing promise in the outfield and the need to develop at first base, you only have so many position openings, even with the DH.

Yost has said repeatedly that he wants to return in 2019. I think he likes the idea of seeing the next phase of the rebuild through before handing over the duties to the next manager. He may even stay through 2020.

Absolutely. And very soon.

That's really an interesting question. MJ Melendez, the team's No. 4 prospect per MLB Pipeline, is only 19 and playing in Low-A Lexington. But the Royals believe Melendez's defense is superb, and he is showing power at the plate with 11 home runs and a .526 slugging percentage. Perez is 28. And if Melendez is ready for the big leagues in three or four years, Perez might be ready to do much more DHing.

Another good question. The offseason plan was to restock the farm system and bank some payroll to make some free-agent additions when the Royals are close to contending again. Obviously, the next two years will be challenging again in terms of wins and losses. But if all goes according to plan, and players like Bonifacio, Soler, , Dozier, , , , Jakob Junis, Josh Staumont, Richard Lovelady, , Nicky Lopez and others all become a promising next core at the Major League level by 2020, and some of the college pitchers from this year's Draft rise very rapidly, perhaps by that winter Moore and ownership will dip in the free-agent market. That, of course, would be the absolute best-case scenario and is likely overly optimistic. But hey, you never know.