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Royals mailbag: Options at the trade deadline? Mike Moustakas’ future?

07/25/2014 10:33 AM

07/25/2014 5:20 PM

The Royals exhausted their pitching staff but outlasted their opponents in Friday night’s 2-1 victory. The outcome vaulted the club back above .500 after a brutal week on the road. The offense continues to vex with its inability to produce.

Will the team make a trade? Will the Royals sustain any momentum in the second half? Are the playoffs a possibility?

All of these questions will be answered in the coming weeks. For now, I’ll try to handle the rest. Welcome to this week’s mailbag.

I suppose it depends on how healthy your lifestyle is. You want to extend your window for as long as possible.

I would strongly consider eliminating foods that are high in cholesterol and salt. Avoid high-fructose corn syrup. No more soda! Try for grass-fed beef over the corn-fed variety. Exercise is crucial, and endorphins can improve your mood and outlook. You don’t need me to lecture you on smoking, but you shouldn’t do it. Drinking to excess certainly won’t help either. Neither will reading Sam’s columns.

This is my serious answer: Probably.

Not particularly. But maybe you understand why last year’s 86-win team felt so monumental for Dayton Moore and his front office. It may not have been the World Series, as he was roundly (and unfairly) mocked for saying, but it was absolute evidence of progress.

Look: The team’s history of futility isn’t news. Otherwise, why are so many fans so riled up about this year’s .500 team?

A hitter, unless Jason Vargas’ condition takes a sudden turn for the hideous. Otherwise, the club doesn’t need a starter.

Let’s go through the three options:

1. Buy: What can you buy? Marlon Byrd may just be the best hitter on the market, and the Royals have been scouting him “heavily,” as the folks in the business say. They’ve had eyes on him in Philadelphia for the past week or so. Byrd has a partial no-trade clause that he says includes Kansas City. He could leverage that into forcing the club to guarantee his $8 million option for 2016. That is a good chunk of money and commitment for Marlon Byrd, but these are the stakes. There is also Alex Rios.

Neither player would transform this lineup into the 1927 Yankees (or even the 2007 Yankees). But either would be an upgrade over Nori Aoki in right. The Royals also have their eyes peeled for bullpen arms, still.

2. Sell: Dayton Moore insisted on Tuesday morning he had no interest in doing that. At this stage in the franchise rebuild, punting feels like a quite unappealing outcome.

3. Stand pat: This may be the most likely, if only because it is not easy to make a trade.

To quote Dayton Moore: “My crystal ball is broken.” I doubt the organization will “give up,” though. That would require trading James Shields, Greg Holland, Alcides Escobar and a bunch of other guys for prospects. That would be giving up.

I believe so. As a first-year arbitration-eligible player, he won’t cost much, though his counting stats will help him in deciding his salary. Otherwise, the club has to go find an alternative on the open market, while waiting for Hunter Dozier to develop.

Even if Moustakas doesn’t hit 20 homers, it is hard to see the team non-tendering him. They appreciate his defense, and the front office is still quite invested in his development.

Before I go any further: The Royals would benefit from a platoon with Dyson facing righties and Aoki facing lefties.

That said . . . let’s not lose our minds about Dyson’s WAR. He plays good defense. This is clear. During the offseason, he concentrated on improving his route-running, and his arm has become more reliable. He also is having the best offensive season of his career.

And yet he does not play every day because he is not a consistent enough hitter. Before Thursday’s game he was hitting .298/.350/.354, which is not the sort of slash line to write home about. Southpaws still torment him, though.

He is a solid bench player. That has value. He would display that value if he was deployed more by his manager, but, hey, I don’t make the lineup.

At some point, the Royals will add him to the roster as a utility infielder. With Billy Butler likely gone after this season, the roster will feature more flexibility, so they can actually carry a backup middle infielder. Dayton Moore has compared Colon to former All Star Placido Polanco, but rival evaluators are more skeptical. He will likely be more valuable than Pedro Ciriaco, at least. And, for what its worth, evaluators do appreciate his makeup, which is a useful attribute for a player in that role.

Good grief. No.

It was a solid promo. He sold the main event for Summer Slam, and everyone enjoyed it.

But, no, it wasn’t his best promo ever. It wasn’t even better than his promo with Lesnar after Wrestlemania. His promo at One Night Stand 2005 was better. His promo on CM Punk in Chicago was better. His promo explaining why the Guilty As Charged 1999 card was ruined was better.

I came up with these off the top of my head, without any extensive research. When it comes to the mic, Heyman holds a special place in the history of the business. The promo on Monday was just par for the course. I enjoy The Masked Man, but the hyperbole over this one is unnecessary.

***

And, as an addendum, due to travel considerations, the usual morning package:

FROM THE STAR

The Royals exhausted their bullpen, but outlasted the Indians in a 14-inning victory.

THE ROYALS’ PLAYOFF PERCENTAGE (ACCORDING TO BASEBALL PROSPECTUS)

13.9 percent.

HERE IS SOME ROCK MUSIC

“Anchorage” by Surfer Blood.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

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