That sound you hear is the Hot Stove beginning to whistle, and if the heavily rumored trade between the Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals involving top prospect Wil Myers and left-hander Jon Lester actually happens, it will have officially bubbled over.
The Royals are getting desperate to add pitching, as evidenced by their willingness to even consider trading Myers, a top-5 prospect in all of baseball and a potential .300/30/100 hitter. Myers has the potential to quickly become one of the better hitters in the American League, and the Royals are considering allowing him to leave town before he ever plays a home game in Kauffman Stadium.
Why would they be so anxious to do such a thing?
The Royals have been waiting for their nucleus of young players to make it to the majors and turn into real-world production for years now. Their pitching prospects, however, failed to hold up their end of the bargain.
But their offensive prospects have put together a nice little lineup, one that includes Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar and Salvador Perez. Adding Myers to that mix could make it quite a formidable lineup for opposing pitchers.
But the problem is opposing hitters can’t wait to get to Kansas City to hit off their pitching staff.
Or at least the Royals think.
The problem here is that the addition of Lester doesn’t solve all of their problems. After Lester, the rest of the Royals rotation would consist of Ervin Santana (who struggled badly with the Angels last season), Jeremy Guthrie (who struggled in Colorado), Bruce Chen and Luke Hochevar. That’s Lester and a number of question marks, and even Lester himself hasn’t been his best self the past two seasons.
Simply put, even with Lester, the Royals would not have a playoff rotation.
And therein lies the problem.
If the Royals were one top starter away from competing with the Tigers for the AL Central crown, giving up six years of Wil Myers for two years of Jon Lester might be a realistic question to ask themselves. But such is not the case.
The Royals should not give up on the prospect who has the potential to be the best hitter in what has become an already potent lineup simply to put a band-aid on their pitching woes.
But that doesn’t mean they won’t.