Dayton Moore approached the 2014 trade deadline much more conservatively than most AL playoff contending organizations. With an inconsistent offense and big name bats such as Marlon Byrd swirling around, Moore showed confidence in his current roster by deciding not to make any significant moves.
Many Royals fans were upset with the lack of effort to improve this ball club heading into the critical final two months of the season. With that being said, upon further examination, there are some positives that can be taken away from the way Moore handled the deadline.
The Royals clubhouse is filled with a 40 man roster that Moore has stuck to his guns with. He has made it clear that the team he entered the 2014 season with, is the team he believes in to get to the postseason. That in itself should be an extra incentive for every single player to play hard for their family (teammates, coaches and general manager).
Although the 2014 season has been filled with more inconsistency than Missouri weather, the Royals continue to stay in the playoff mix.
With 53 games left to play, the Royals only sit one and a half games out of the final wild card spot and five games out of the division lead. They are sitting in an exceptional position considering the fact that there is a feeling that this team still hasn't truly played up to their full potential.
The Boys In Blue are currently in a stretch where they play 7 of their next 10 games against opponents with a better than .500 record. It is critical that Kansas City stays within striking distance over that stretch because they will follow it up by playing 12 of their next 13 against teams with a sub .500 record.
Although the Royals really didn't make any significant trade deadline moves, this team has experienced a big shakeup this past week.
With Eric Hosmer possibly out for the rest of the regular season, Billy Butler and Raul Ibanez will split playing time at first base. Although Butler's glove work is far inferior to Hosmer at the first base, his bat may awaken by the simple fact that he will be more active in the game by playing on both sides of the ball.
Jason Vargas coming off the disabled list is certainly another positive. He has been one of the most consistent starters on this strong pitching staff. His numbers include an 8-5 record and a 3.69 ERA.
Although the Royals didn't made any huge trades before the deadline, they did acquire catcher Erik Kratz from Toronto. Although Kratz doesn't really improve Kansas City's offense, he does bring experience behind the plate. The 34-year-old Kratz brings a veteran presence and a bat that has proven to be decent - two qualities Brett Hayes (Perez's former backup) was lacking. Kratz's presence allows Salvador Perez to get a needed day off once in awhile and with Hosmer injured, Perez may even get the opportunity to hit in the DH role.
Winning nine of their last 12 games, the Royals hope to continue to carry their momentum as they head down the final stretch of the season.
Excellent starting pitching and arguably the best bullpen in baseball has put the Royals in position to keep playing on into October. Now it's up to players like Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon to join Salvador Perez and help anchor the offense to where it needs to be in order to be successful.
On paper you would think Oakland and Detroit would be the front runners to get to the ALCS. But in a short series, anything can happen. The games still have to be played, and anything is possible considering Kansas City is right in the hunt.
The inactivity of Moore to make any serious trades at the deadline can make him look like a genius if the team can get to the postseason. But if this team fails to make the playoffs yet again, you can bet Moore will see his fair share of criticism in the offseason.
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