As the Royals (13--37 at week's end, the worst record in the majors) continue to sputter, it becomes increasingly logical and likely that they will trade first baseman Mike Sweeney. At the healthiest he has been in several seasons, Sweeney, 31, had nine home runs and a .545 slugging percentage. He would be a good fit for several contending teams, including the Angels and the Rangers, and it makes sense for Kansas City to sell high.
The Royals would like prospective suitors to assume most, if not all, of the $34 million remaining on Sweeney's contract, which runs through 2007 and includes an annual bump of $1.5 million if he's dealt. Sweeney has a limited no-trade clause that allows him to block a move to all but eight teams; neither the Angels nor the Rangers is on the list, however. "If I could win, I'd do anything I can," Sweeney says. "This is my 11th season in Kansas City and the big leagues, and I haven't tasted the playoffs yet. I would love to do that."