Kansas City Royals: The right call to be all in?

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 22: Salvador Perez
KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 22: Salvador Perez /

The Kansas City Royals made a big trade to shore up their pitching depth yesterday. Was it the right call to go all in for this season?

Let’s face facts. Outside of the Houston Astros, you can take about seven teams in the American League, mix them into a bag and pull one out on any given day and that team is the second best in the American League. That bag includes the Kansas City Royals.

The Royals are on fire of late, cutting their deficit to 1.5 games in the AL Central behind the Cleveland Indians going into play on Tuesday. They also hold a one game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays for the second Wild Card spot.

The Royals increased their pitching depth on Monday, trading Travis Wood and eating a ton of his contract in the process, prospects Matt Strahm and Esteury Ruiz for Trevor Cahill, Ryan Buchter and Brandon Maurer.

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Cahill gives the Royals another starter that they absolutely needed at the back end of the rotation, while Maurer and Buchter lengthen a bullpen with Joakim Soria, Mike Minor and Kelvin Hererra at the back end. These moves indicate that the Royals are going all in for this season.

And it totally makes sense.

Make no mistake about it, this is the last hurrah for this club. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Jason Vargas will all be free agents following this season. Minor has a mutual option, while Ian Kennedy has a player option. Herrera will be entering his final year of arbitration, so its possible he could enter the trade market in the off-season.

The Kansas City Royals are just too close to just go ahead an pack up shop and give up and sell off assets for prospects. They know better than anyone that all you need to do is get into the playoffs and anything can happen.

The cast of characters is a little different, however, the core of a team that won a championship and two of the last three AL pennants is still there.

Is their bullpen as devastating? No. Is their rotation better than in years past? Quite possibly.

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The Royals owed it to themselves and the fan base because they are in contention to make a move. With under a week to go to before the trade deadline it may not be their last.

Good for the Kansas City Royals to give it one last go. If this trade helps get them there remains to be seen.