May 26, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) leans on the dugout railing and watches the game against the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won 9-0. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
The trade deadline is less than 24 hours away and the Kansas City Royals are fighting for a playoff spot. The Philadelphia Phillies are out of contention and in need of younger players for the future.
Jim Salisbury of Comcast Sports Net reports the latest Phillies trade rumors involve the Royals:
"“According to multiple sources, the Phillies have had recent communication with the Royals regarding pitcher A.J. Burnett. The Royals have also kept tabs on lefty reliever Antonio Bastardo.”"
The Royals have been scouting Burnett and watched him get roughed up in his last start Monday night against the New York Mets. The veteran righty allowed seven earned runs in just five innings. His player option for next season has been a major speed bump for most teams looking at him, including the Pittsburgh Pirates who appear unlikely to make a move for their former starter.
Bastardo has also struggled recently. In his last 1.1 innings he has given up five earned runs on six hits, including two home runs. Along with seven holds on the season, Bastardo has a 4-4 record with a 4.17 ERA.
Despite their recent struggles, both pitchers or just one could help a Royals team that is struggling to remain .500 or better. Kansas City currently ranks 12th in the majors with a 3.70 team ERA. Royals relievers have a 3.38 ERA.
The Royals, among many teams, have also been linked to Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd. The Kansas City is one of four teams on Byrd’s no-trade list.
The Phillies have expressed a need for young position players and the Royals may be able to provide that if they are willing to offer prospects. Raul Adalberto Mondesi, son of former big leaguer Raul Mondesi, is the Royals number one prospect. Mondesi is a switch-hitting shortstop with great defensive skills. He is currently with Class-A Advanced Wilmington and just 19 years old.