According to Jeff Passan, the Royals will miss ten players in their upcoming series in Canada.
This is the largest number to date as there have only been 25 players unable to play in Canada prior to this upcoming series. While the Royals suck and the Jays should be sweeping them, there are larger implications.
The 10 Kansas City Royals who are not vaccinated and will miss the trip to Toronto are: OF Andrew Benintendi, IF/OF Whit Merrifield, C M.J. Melendez, DH Hunter Dozier, SP Brad Keller, SP Brady Singer, CF Michael A. Taylor, OF Kyle Isbel, RP Dylan Coleman and C Cam Gallagher.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 13, 2022
Since the Royals suck, they’ll be sellers at this upcoming deadline. While there aren’t a lot of players on the Royals I think the Jays should target, there is one guy who I think would help this team tremendously.
Unfortunately, one of those players who is unvaccinated is Andrew Benintendi. The left handed batting outfielder would fit this roster quite well as he’s quite good and would be able to platoon with Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Despite being linked to the Blue Jays by Jon Morosi (so take it with a grain of salt), there is likely no conceivable way that Andrew Benintendi bends his stance to take a small little needle.
The #BlueJays and #Royals are potential trade partners ahead of the Aug. 2 @MLB Trade Deadline. Toronto is among the teams with interest in Andrew Benintendi, and KC has appealing bullpen arms as well. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) June 29, 2022
I wrote a Meet the Sellers on the Royals back in early June and included Whit Merrifield as someone who the Jays should target. Unfortunately for the Blue Birds, that looks equally unlikely to happen, as Merrifield is also unvaccinated.
So who’s left? Well, their closer who has put up great numbers this season. Scott Barlow has a 2.21 ERA and 3.85 FIP in 40.2 innings pitched. While he isn’t getting a ton of swings and misses (8.85 K/9), he is still getting results, including a rather impressive 89.2 left on base percentage.
However, Benintendi seemed to be the most likely trade to happen due to being a rental, and the cost of Scott Barlow may price them out of a trade if they can’t get other assets.
Furthermore, while the Jays won’t be able to trade for him, being unvaccinated doesn’t affect the other 28 teams that could trade for him. That includes the Yankees and the Red Sox. However, with Judge taking one for the team and getting vaccinated solely to play in Toronto, the Yankees may not pursue Benintendi or Michael A. Smith.
Either way, a wrench could’ve been thrown into the Jays plans, so I guess you have to read the “Meet the Sellers” series to see which left handed batting outfielder the Jays could acquire.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. In all the new “Meet the Sellers”, I may add an “are they vaccinated” section.