What follows is the exchanges that took place over the last two days.
Ryan Schinstock (Royals): Right now, the players I'm targeting from the Cardinals organization are Michael Wacha, Tyler Lyons, and Kolten Wong. None of them are currently on your roster, nor are they your top 2 or 3 prospects. I'm really looking for an improvement at 2B, as well as someone that could step into our rotation right away (or in the near future).
The Royals organization has a lot of depth in the low-minors, along with some players from the current major-league roster that might interest you. What positions in your organization are you looking to solidify?
Brian Walton (Cardinals): The Cardinals would like to improve most of all at shortstop at the major league level. A veteran right-handed reliever is another potential need as is a proven starting pitcher.
One correction. With Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal in the majors, Michael Wacha is definitely among the organization’s top three prospects.
Ryan Schinstock (Royals): I can't help you with a shortstop at the major-league level. The only one we have is Alcides Escobar, and we can't afford to trade him away because we don't have a replacement. Would you be interested in Luke Hochevar, Aaron Crow, or Bruce Chen? Hochevar has really found himself since we moved him to the bullpen this year. Chen is a great clubhouse guy who started the year in the bullpen pitching great, and has maintained that strong performance since moving to the rotation. Crow has been one of our go-to guys in the 7th and 8th inning for the last three years.
Brian Walton (Cardinals): I am not interested in Chen. Hochevar is a possibility, though he is paid like a starter rather than the set up man he is. With Hochevar being less than a season and a half away from free agency, I would not trade six years of Wong, Wacha or Lyons for him.
Ryan Schinstock (Royals): Hochevar has been great out of the pen this year - good enough to justify his $4.5 million salary. But we could maybe work out some financial arrangements to balance things out. We could also add in a prospect, if you were interested in that. What are your thoughts on Crow? We also have Ervin Santana, but his price is high...
Brian Walton (Cardinals): While dependable, Crow may not be substantially better than the relievers he would replace. Regarding Santana, he has had a nice first half, but that does not change the previous eight years. He is an ideal “sell high” candidate for you, but I am not going to pay that premium price.
I would be interested in Hochevar for a prospect, but not one of the ones you mentioned initially, salary relief or not.
Ryan Schinstock (Royals): Would you consider a Hochevar + Orlando Calixte package for Wong?
Brian Walton (Cardinals): How much of Hochevar’s salary would you cover?Ryan Schinstock:
Ryan Schinstock (Royals): $250k
Brian Walton (Cardinals): Make it a million.
Ryan Schinstock (Royals): The highest I can go is $500k. Or, I'll pay his entire salary if you include Lyons.
Brian Walton (Cardinals): Since you like Lyons, what about Hochevar and Calixte for him with no money changing hands?
Ryan Schinstock (Royals): I like Lyons, but Wong interests me more.
Brian Walton (Cardinals): I guess we did not get a deal done by the deadline.
Although we were not able to get a deal done. It was an interesting experience. It's easy to look at the holes on your favorite team and plug in players from another organization that might fill that hole. Getting the other team to agree to a deal is obviously a lot more difficult. Organizations and fans tends to value their own players; otherwise, those players wouldn't have been drafted or signed. Oftentimes, in order to fill a need, a team has to actually "lose" the trade in order to get better.