For Pete's Sake

Former GM: Despite surge, Royals need to trade pending free agents

Royals win another series, beat Mariners 7-3

The Royals are 43-40 after another win on Tuesday night. The Star's Rustin Dodd breaks it down.
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The Royals are 43-40 after another win on Tuesday night. The Star's Rustin Dodd breaks it down.

The Royals’ surge in the standings has filled fans with a sunny optimism.

Well, one former general manager was on MLB Network Radio and rained all over everyone’s good feelings.

Former Reds and Nationals general manager Jim Bowden thinks the Royals are making a mistake by making one final run instead of looking to make a deal or deals before Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Jason Vargas and Alcides Escobar become free agents.

“I’m not sure this team is going to get back to the World Series,” Bowden said on MLB Network Radio. “I have too much respect for the Astros, the Indians and the Red Sox here. And what scares me with this is like playing poker and you take all the chips and you push it in the middle of the table and you bet everything you have.

“The problem is if you lose and it doesn’t work out, what is this Royal team going to look like in ’18, ’19 and ’20? ... Take those five guys off the roster in the offseason and tell me what that lineup looks like in 2018 and beyond. It’s not pretty, it’s going to be extremely ugly.”

You can hear it here:

There are a couple of things to say about that. First, Royals general manager Dayton Moore told The Star’s Rustin Dodd last week he’s not ready to concede that the team won’t be able sign its free agents.

Second, history is littered with terrible trades involving pending free agents. There is no guarantee that the players received in return will be a success. The infamous “White Flag Trade,” which was actually a series of deals by the White Sox in 1997, is a prime example of a team giving up too early.

Just so this post is not all doom and gloom, another former general manager, Jim Duquette, thinks the Royals should try and add to their team.

Also speaking on MLB Network Radio, Duquette said the Royals should try and get another starting pitcher.

“To be where they are now, I’ve got to say, is one of the bigger surprises,” said Duquette, the former Mets GM. “There’s no doubt about it. Toronto ... has gotten close to the .500 mark and they fall back.

“Kansas City has actually done it. Expended a lot of energy to get there. But this team, we’ve seen this before out of them. If I’m Dayton, I’m buying. Absolutely buying.”

Here is what Duquette said:

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff