Just when you thought the Kansas City Royals would be sellers at the trade deadline, the team could flip the script. Once upon a time, one would have thought that American League Earned Run Average leader Jason Vargas would be on the trade block. Some thought others like Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, and Eric Hosmer would join him. The team is 45-45 and all four of these players are free agents.

However, the team is just two games out of the second wild card spot. The team believes that they can make a playoff push, but in order to do that, they need to address the rotation. Besides Vargas, the rest of the rotation has been mediocre, especially the back half, as Ian Kennedy and Jason Hammel have combined to go 7-14.

Bob Nightengale of USA Sports believes that The Royals are going to try and acquire St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn.

Trade makes sense

The Cardinals are likely not going to make the postseason. It hurts that the team doesn't know what they want to do at the deadline, but after blowing two save chances this past weekend against the Pirates, the team is 6.5 games out of first place in the National League Central.

Lynn has been consistent this season with a 3.40 earned run average in 108.1 innings pitched. If Lynn were to be slated into the rotation, he would have the third best earned run average on the team, barely behind Danny Duffey and his 3.51 ERA. Regardless, Lynn would give the Royals a solid one-two-three punch in their rotation.

The Cardinals have Luke Weaver in the minor leagues and could come up and take Lynn's spot. If the Cardinals are sellers this season, they could get a promising piece in return to help them compete right away in 2018.

What would Royals give up?

The Royals do not have any players in MLB.com's top 100 prospect list, which means that it would make it hard for the two sides to pull off a trade.

The Cardinals need an outfielder, the team could ask for Hunter Dozier, the Royals top prospect who is a combo third baseman/outfielder.

If the Royals give up Dozier, then that means they feel confident in their chances of re-signing Cain. It's not likely that the Royals are going to be able to afford Moustakas, Cain, and Hosmer, unless someone takes a paycut.

The Royals may just say forget it and go for it once last time with this core, so they could dangle their two best prospects for Lynn.

The Royals are going to have a damaged rotation with Vargas potentially leaving. Lynn is going to be a rental, so if the Royals want to have one last go at making a deep run in the postseason, then trading for the starter makes sense.

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