With the trade deadline starting to heat up, the Royals have reportedly gotten calls regarding their closer Wade Davis. According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, the Royals don’t seem especially willing to part with their star reliever, and have set the price of acquiring him very high. So high, that the deal that netted the Cubs Aroldis Chapman wouldn’t get it done:
An example of deals the Royals are mulling: A team that asked about Wade Davis said it was told the Chapman package "wouldn't get it done"— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 25, 2016
The Yankees closer was acquired by the Cubs earlier Monday for Gleyber Torres, Adam Warren, Billy McKinney, and Rashad Crawford. According to both MLB.com and Baseball America, Torres ranks as the top prospect in the Cubs’ system. Warren—who was involved in the offseason deal that brought Starlin Castro to the Yankees—is a major league swingman, though he has struggled this season. McKinney, an outfielder, is yet another top-30 prospect and Crawford is a minor league asset.
That sets the price of acquiring Davis at a team’s top prospect, a major league asset, and at least two more prospects with at least some upside. In fact, if the Royals are so adamant that the Chapman deal wouldn’t have been enough, they could be looking for three top-30 prospects and a major league asset. This is largely speculation though and, in all likelihood, this is a way for the Royals to more publicly show the worth of Davis to the team.
Of course, there’s a chance that Davis never becomes available after this report. However, if the Royals are publicly mulling over the price it would cost to obtain him, Dayton Moore and the rest of the front office could just be setting their price.
The trade deadline is still one week away and the best closer is likely off the board. If Davis is made available, the Royals will be getting a lot of attention from teams looking for a premium addition. Since 2014, Davis has been one of the most elite relievers in all of baseball and has allowed just three home runs in that span. There are other good relievers available like Jeremy Jeffress, Sean Doolittle, Arodys Vizcaino, and Fernando Rodney, though none rank as high as Davis. And the Royals are aware of the fact.