Dan's Dugout: Royals Won't Be Regal Much Longer • Latino Sports


Dan’s Dugout: Royals Won’t Be Regal Much Longer


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Say goodbye to the 2015 World Champions.

The Kansas City Royals team that upset the New York Mets in the World Series will be a shadow of its former self by the end of July.

July 31 is the last day for waiver-free trades and the last chance for the Royals to reap some benefit from former World Series heroes playing with one eye on free agency.

The small-market ballclub has already conceded it will be in a dealing mode if it is not in contention at the time.

In a Central Division dominated by the Cleveland Indians, the defending world champs, and the veteran-laden Detroit Tigers, Kaycee could be an also-ran long before deadline time.

Will KC keep Eric Hosmer?

Will KC keep Eric Hosmer?

That means first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas, centerfielder Lorenzo Cain, and shortstop Alcides Escobar could follow erstwhile closer Wade Davis (dealt to the Cubs) out the door.

General manager Dayton Moore won’t give his guys away, to be sure, but wants to repeat the farm system bonanza that befell the New York Yankees when they parted company last summer with Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller.

Like the Yankees, who reacquired Chapman as a free agent, Moore will make a maximum effort to bring one or two of his local heroes back. But the Royals can expect to have considerable competition.

Lorenzo Cain could be trade bait for Kaycee

Lorenzo Cain could be trade bait for Kaycee

Already, the Mets are sniffing around, asking about what it would take to raise Cain, perhaps in a package deal that also includes Moustakas. Center field and third base are question-marks in Flushing.

With the opener still weeks away, the Royals have already suffered more than their share of setbacks. They lost ace pitcher Yolando Ventura, killed in a Dominican car crash earlier this winter, and now worry that star catcher Sal Perez may be slow to recover from a knee injury incurred when regular-season teammate Drew Butera ran into him at home plate during a World Baseball Classic game between the Dominican Republic and Italy.

Camp notes:

The darkhorse NL West title chances of the Colorado Rockies suffered a severe setback when slugger Ian Desmond, just signed as a free agent, broke his left hand during exhibition play . . .

The signing of former All-Star catcher Matt Wieters by the Washington Nationals has made Derek Norris, an earlier winter acquisition, expendable . . .

Former Oakland ace Sonny Gray is suffering from a lat strain that has reduced his trade value . . .
Ex-Met centerfielder Angel Pagan, most recently with San Francisco, is a free agent coveted by several clubs, including the Pirates, Braves, and Mets . . .

Although the pitcher says he’s better, Boston is quietly concerned about the aching elbow of star southpaw David Price . . .

David Price and the Bosox hope his elbow holds up

David Price and the Bosox hope his elbow holds up

Toronto pitcher T.J. House, hit in the head by a line drive, was carted off on a stretcher . . .

Baltimore is bringing back Pedro Alvarez, a good hitter with no strong defensive position . . .

Shouldn’t Ian Kinsler be playing for the red-hot Team Israel instead of Team USA in the WBC?

Cleveland second baseman Jason Kipnis has been slowed by a sore shoulder.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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