Matt Kemp certainly hasn't been the same player he was in 2011 when he hit a scorching .324, while belting a league leading 39 HR and driving in a league best 126 RBI. Injuries have decimated his chances to return to elite status over the past few years. With that being said, there is reason to believe there is still potential. Kemp is only 29 years old, which is typically right in the middle of a baseball player's prime years. Kemp also possesses the speed to be an everyday outfielder for the Royals. As far as a long term solution goes, Kemp could be the best outfield option on the current trade market. With that being said, there would be a lot of risk involved with a deal for Kemp. He is currently only hitting .268 with eight home runs. Therefore it's really a shot in the dark as to what direction Kemp's career is heading. The biggest problem that would come along with a deal for Kemp is the $107 million left on his contract until 2019, according to Adams. The Royals would be best to stay away from spending a large sum of money for a player with a lot of question marks.
According to Steve Adams from mlbtraderumors.com, the Royals have been scouting Philadelphia Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo. But with Kansas City's offense being the main concern, the Royals should focus less on Bastardo and more on acquiring his teammate, Marlon Byrd. The Phillies rightfielder is easily having one of the best years of his career, sitting on 19 home runs and 57 runs batted in. Byrd's HR and RBI numbers would lead Kansas City in both categories, making him a great fit in the four hole. Byrd turns 37 next month, but if the Royals are truly in a win now mode, age shouldn't be a major concern as long as he continues to turn in solid power numbers this season. Byrd's defense is nothing spectacular. Therefore, he would be a nice fit in the designated hitter role if the Royals decide to move Billy Butler.
Jonny Gomes has been another name in the hot stove discussion. The Royals would be better off not making any moves than trying to pursue Gomes. He is currently only hitting .240 with six HR and 32 RBI. Gomes offensive production isn't good enough to be a significant help to Kansas City's lineup.
With the White Sox currently in a rebuilding stage, they may play sellers as the trade deadline approaches. According to Adams, White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo is a player who has drawn interest from Kansas City. Of all the positional players the Royals could target, Viciedo is the youngest at 25 years old. He isn't necessarily taring the cover off the ball this season as he is hitting a dismal .236 with 12 bombs. He showed some pop in 2012 with 25 dingers. The true question would be, is he worth looking into? Viciedo is currently one of the worst defensive outfielders in the league. Therefore he would be looked at as a DH for the Royals. The Royals would probably be better suited in going after a player who can be an everyday outfielder or one who is clearly better than Billy Butler. Viciedo is neither of those two.
Alex Rios- Texas Rangers
Alex Rios is another possible DH option if the Royals would like to add a solid contact hitter to the lineup. The Royals already have good contact hitters as they are fourth in baseball in batting average. The problem for the Royals has been driving in runs when the situation calls for it. With a Major League Baseball low 57 home runs, it would be in the Royals best interest to add a player who can hit the ball out of the park. With Rios currently sitting at four HR, it would be better for the Royals to look elsewhere.
Of the possible trade acquisitions, Kemp and Byrd are the only two that would fit what the Royals are looking for. Kansas City needs an everyday four hole hitter who can drive in runs in key situations. Kemp is certainly out of Kansas City's price range and isn't even consistent enough to be worth paying his contract amount. Byrd would easily be the best fit for the Royals as his current power numbers are on pace to eclipse any of his previous seasons. With the Phillies seemingly out of the playoff race and looking to rebuild for next season, they could afford to let Byrd go for prospects.