For a team with legitimate aspirations for a playoff berth, the Royals have several needs. Offensively, the Royals have been putrid, ranking last in home runs by a wide margin and ranking near the bottom in baseball in several other offensive categories. The Royals vaunted bullpen has struggled this season, with Greg Holland, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera as the only truly reliable options.
What areas specifically could the Royals be targeting at the trade deadline? Glad you asked.
1. Right field. At the time, Nori Aoki seemed to be the perfect fit as the Royals needed both a right fielder and a leadoff hitter. With his ability to make contact and speed, Aoki seemed to be a perfect fit. Instead, Aoki has been awful in Kansas City, palying below replacement level and being used as part of a platoon with Jarrod Dyson. The Royals need another big bat in the lineup, and right field could be the position that would be easiest to upgrade.
2. Left handed relievers. Tim Collins has regressed since his 2012 campaign, as his ERA, WHiP and walk rate have increased while his strikeout rate has decreased. Once the primary lefty out of Ned Yost‘s bullpen, Collins has struggled to the point where he has been banished to Omaha. Francisley Bueno, the other true lefty reliever in the bullpen, has been solid, but has a K/9 just above 4 for the season and has dealt with injury issues. A reliable left hander out of the bullpen could be high on the Royals shopping list.
3. Bench help. As of June 28th, Pedro Ciriaco and Brett Hayes have combined for 88 plate appearances. Ciriaco has an OPS+ of 34, which is actually light years better than Hayes, who has somehow put together an OPS+ of -15. Negative fifteen. While the Royals backup catcher and utility infielder have not played much, the Royals will need to rest players during the dog days of summer. Getting actual major league talent to back up Salvador Perez and to be the utility infielder would certainly help.