As another season starts off predictably horrid, Kansas City Royals fans know this feeling all too well. After waiting nearly 30 years between playoff appearances from 1985-2014, the successes of 2015 don’t have to mean a playoff drought until 2035.
These are three things that the Royals need to do in order to avoid a repeated fate.
Keep drafting pitchers
The Royals are in desperate need for pitching. With Raul Mondesi, Nicky Lopez, and a slew of young players around the diamond, they don’t have much potential or promise on the mound outside of Brady Singer and newly drafted Asa Lacy. Kansas City needs to continue the recent trend of thiers, and keep drafting first-round pitchers until one finally sticks.
Tank, tank and tank
The only way a franchise that shows an unwillingness to sign a high-value free agent gets better is to get high-value draft picks. With four out of the top five 2021 prospects being pitchers, the Royals could benefit massively from being inside of the top five.
Getting young talent in the building can only help. I know this list is supposed to be centered around making the playoffs, but they might have to lose a few in the short-term, do avoid losing long-term.
Sign players with value
The Royals have a long history of quiet and uneventful offseasons, particularly under Dayton Moore. Moore has time and time again shown an unwillingness to dish out a little extra cash for players with a lot more value, instead opting to sign low-value players or guys that are much past their prime.
Prior to the 2019 season, KC signed Billy Hamilton, Chris Owings, Brad Boxberger, and Lucas Duda for a combined $11 million, a lot of money wasted on four guys that wouldn’t make it past August with the team, as all four were either released or DFA’d during the season. The Royals most likely wouldn’t be up for the top names in baseball free agency, but that same offseason was headlined by Clayton Kershaw, Bryce Harper, and Manny Machado, so there were a few guys that could’ve snuck a deal with KC behind the scenes such as: Patrick Corbin, J.A. Happ, Dallas Keuchel, Gio Gonzalez, Wade Miley, Garrett Richards, and Anibal Sanchez just to name a few.
All of whom had the stats that season to be the “ace” starter on this team. They would have to give out a little more money to get those guys but the Royals pitching was nearly unwatchable last season. With Merrifield leading the league in hits and sharing the lead for triples with Dozier, Mondesi being second in stolen bases, and Soler leading the AL in homers, it was obvious the team had at least some offensive firepower to lead a game.
On the flip side, they could have used one or two of the aforementioned pitchers because they were consistently lost on the mound posting a 5.20 ERA, .71 more than league average.
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