Welcome (back?) to our trade deadline series where we take a look at a rumor to determine just how believable and likely it is. Rumors can just come out all over the place, and we’ve decided it’s our job to let you know if they pass the smell test and beyond.

SB Nation’s own Chris Cotillo reports that the Royals are interested in trading for Blue Jays’ starter Marco Estrada. Yes, that’s right, even someone who works for us is not free from the scrutiny we’re bringing to trade deadline season. Never dunk on others if you can’t handle being dunked on yourself. Pretty sure that’s in the Bible somewhere.

Well the Royals basically have no prospects and don’t have room in the budget to re-sign all the major contributors who are going to leave through free agency, and wouldn’t get enough back in trades to put them right back into contention so … a lot of unexpected things would have to go right.

That might sound like a lazy way off this section, but think about it: Hosmer has a 124 OPS+ and has hit .318/.379/.542 over his last 47 games. Mike Moustakas is slugging .630 with 16 homers in that same stretch. Lorenzo Cain has been back to being the Lorenzo Cain that helped the Royals to consecutive World Series appearances. Those dudes are potentially all gone in four months, as is one of their only good starting pitchers from 2017.

Don’t get too excited, nerds (he says with love in his voice you cannot glean from this written word): There are two months of season left, and the Royals’ last two months went pretty well.

Kansas City knows it, too, as they’ve already traded for Trevor Cahill, find themselves in other rumors for starting pitchers, and are clearly going for it while they can. Should they, though, when they could trade their pending free agents to help kickstart a rebuild? Let’s dig in.

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