Buster Olney’s blog is clearly a must-read, and today’s entry comes with this paragraph (immediately before the pay wall, for those of you who won’t cough up the cash).
“This is why nobody should be surprised if the Royals deal one of the core hitters from their every-day lineup — left fielder Alex Gordon, designated hitter Billy Butler, third baseman Mike Moustakas or first baseman Eric Hosmer.”
The beginning of the sentence — “This is why” — is a reference to the Royals need for pitching. Kansas City has a loaded farm system and a bunch of good young hitters at the big league level, but they’re still short on arms. The Yankees — if they can fill in some glaring holes that currently exist in their rotation — have Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes and David Phelps, who could be enough at least begin a conversation about acquiring Gordon or Moustakas (Gordon especially, Hosmer and Butler don’t fit quite as well).
That said, neither Gordon nor Moustakas has a bad contract, so those are going to be pretty desirable pieces on the trade market, and the Royals are already said to be heavily scouting Mariners pitching prospect James Paxton.