In an attempt to strengthen their club and make a run for the American League Central title, the Kansas City Royals announced a six-player trade with the San Diego Padres on Monday. They acquired three pitchers ( Trevor Cahill, Ryan Buchter, Brandon Maurer) for pitchers Matt Strahm, Travis Wood, and infielder Esteury Ruiz, as well as cash considerations. Although it’s unfortunate to see some players leave the club, it can also be exciting to see the new players in action. With that being said, let’s take a look at what to expect from the Royals newest additions.
Maurer, the closer for the Padres this season, converted 20 of his 23 save opportunities. The 27-year-old has a rugged 5.72 ERA, but his 38 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings show that he’s not nearly as unrefined as his ERA suggests. He will likely be headed to a setup role rather than closing duties. His good arm and strikeout numbers will prompt manager Ned Yost to place Maurer in high-leverage situations.
The 30-year-old relief pitcher has a 3-3 record with a 3.05 ERA in 42 appearances. He recorded an impressive 47 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings for the Padres this season. Last year, he went 3-0 with a 2.86 ERA in 67 appearances for the club. Though he has been noted as having command issues, Buchter should be a much-needed boost to the Royals’ group of left-handed relievers.
The most important acquisition of all, Trevor Cahill, will step in and serve as the fifth starter behind Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Vargas, and Jason Hammel. The 29-year-old has made 11 starts for the Padres this season, recording a 4-3 record with a 3.96 ERA and 72 strikeouts. Last season, Cahill pitched in 50 games for the Chicago Cubs, posting a 4-4 record with a 2.74 ERA. Mostly known for the effectiveness of his curveball, the nine-year veteran has a 73-79 career record with a 4.03 ERA.
This deal was much needed for the Kansas City Royals, as they look to make a run to the postseason before the potential breakup of a few of their core players.