As the calendar nears June and MLB teams start to evaluate their outlook for the coming months, it appears at least one squad is almost ready to open the doors to a major sale.
According to Jon Heyman of FangRag Sports, the Kansas City Royals are said to be quietly putting the word out around the league that they will be sellers in the coming months and now seem focused on improving the team’s outlook beyond 2018.
Kansas City currently sits at 16-33, the second-worst record in baseball and just one game back of the Baltimore Orioles for the worst record overall. The Royals sit 17 games below .500 after an offseason that saw them sign outfielder Jon Jay, first baseman Lucas Duda and re-sign third baseman Mike Moustakas as well as shortstop Alcides Escobar to one-year deals.
Now, all four players are just some of the many names who the organization will look to try and shop in the coming months to salvage whatever long-term, potential assets they can land.
Contenders are always in the market for late-inning relievers, which will make closer Kelvin Herrera sought after. The 28-year-old right-handed pitcher owns a stellar 0.96 ERA and has converted all 10 of his save opportunities in 18 2/3 innings this season.
Moustakas will also be a bat who several contenders look into over the coming weeks. The 29-year-old carries a .283/.330/.503 slash line with 10 home runs and 31 RBIs in 49 games. As an impending free agent, he should not cost a buyer one of their top prospects.
The most interesting name to keep an eye on is second baseman Whit Merrifield. According to Spotrac, the 29-year-old won’t be arbitration eligible until 2020 and is under team control through 2022.
In 47 games this season, the right-handed batter has a .281/.352/.411 slash line with four home runs, 12 stolen bases and 24 runs scored. Given his production and contract, he would likely net the greatest return for Kansas City if they decide to trade him.