Kansas City Royals ‘focused’ on 2 positions at MLB trade deadline, 4 potential targets

Kansas City Royals
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals have been one of the best teams in the American League this season, with Bobby Iwtt Jr. and Salvador Perez leading a Royals lineup that has been highly productive in 2024. However, there’s still plenty of room for improvement that should come before the MLB trade deadline.

Kansas City enters MLB games today seventh in runs scored (36) with the ninth-highest slugging percentage (.404) in the majors. While its infield and starting rotation (37 quality starts) have been very productive, there are several weaknesses on the Royals roster.

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Since May 19, the Royals lineup has the ninth-best OPS (.748) in the majors with a .257/.323/.425 slash line. However, Kansas City’s outfielders are responsible for a .678 OPS over that stretch with a .221/.289/.389 triple-slash line.

Pitching has also been an issue at times for Kansas City. While Royals’ starters have the ninth-lowest ERA (3.66), the bullpen ERA (4.16) ranks 20th.

Related: Kansas City Royals trade targets

Unsurprisingly, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Royals are focused on improving their bullpen and outfield ahead of the MLB trade deadline. Of note, Chicago White Sox outfielder Tommy Pham is one of the players Kansas City has an interest in acquiring.

Identifying potential Royals trade targets

Kansas City Royals trade targets
Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals farm system is deep enough that the front office should be able to make multiple moves this summer. However, Kansas City also doesn’t have the best prospects in baseball and even moderate additions wouldn’t make this the team to beat in the American League. So, we’ll focus on potential Royals trade targets who would improve the roster but not be too expensive to acquire.

  • Tommy Pham, Chicago White Sox – The veteran outfielder is responsible for a .737 OPS this season and has been one of the few sources of production in an otherwise lifeless White Sox lineup. Considering Pham’s age (36) and his moderate production, he should be a very affordable option for Kansas City.
  • Taylor Ward, Los Angeles Angels – If the Royals want multi-year hel, Taylor Ward is a compelling option. Since the 2022 season, Ward has been responsible for a .261/.342/.443 slash line with a .785 OPS. While his average (.235) is down this season, Ward’s consistency over the past few seasons suggests he can provide above-average offensive production as a corner outfielder for the Royals.
  • Kyle Finnegan, Washington Nationals – The 28-year-old reliever has been excellent this season, recording a 1.72 ERA with a 0.83 WHIP. Finnegan is also displaying sharp command (3.30 K/BB ratio) with a 4.6 H/9. The veteran would add stability to the back end of the Royals bullpen.
  • Tanner Scott, Miami Marlins – The Miami Marlins have already made Tanner Scott available. In his age-29 season, the Marlins’ southpaw owns a 1.74 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP and sports 34 strikeouts in 31 innings. Only a half-season rental, Scott is also in the right price range for Kansas City.

Also Read: 10 MLB trades we’d love to see this summer

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