The Kansas City Royals were determined to contend last season. After talking about ‘The Process’ throughout Dayton Moore’s tenure, it was time to see results. As such, Moore went all in on the 2013 season, perhaps putting his job on the line as he acquired James Shields, Wade Davis and Ervin Santana in an attempt to make a run at the playoffs. In the end, those moves panned out, as the Royals finished above .500 for the first time since 2003, and were only five games out of the Wild Card, close enough to give fans hope for the upcoming season.
Now, the Royals need to build upon that promise. Being close may not be good enough anymore. Yet, the Royals and Moore have several decisions to make and potential holes to fill. Santana and Bruce Chen, you may have been one of the most impressive pitchers on the staff last season, are free agents. Then there are the eleven arbitration eligible players, highlighted by Greg Holland and Eric Hosmer.
Even if everyone is brought back, there are still possible holes to fill. The Royals could use an upgrade in the outfield, and potentially another starting pitcher. As Sam Mellinger stated in his article, it is time for the Royals to spend. It is time for David Glass to open up his wallet, and let Moore get the players needed to put Kansas City back into the playoffs for the first time in a generation.
There are ways the Royals can even increase payroll without dipping into Glass’s bank account. Every team is getting an additional $25Million this season from the new MLB television contract, and the Royals are likely to see an increase in attendance due to their performance this past season. Should they be able to add a couple of free agents, such as a Matt Garza and/or a Carlos Beltran, those attendance numbers may increase even more.
The Royals may be on the verge of putting together something truly special in 2014. As it stands, they may be only a couple of pieces away from making a legitimate push at the playoffs next season. The ball appears to be squarely in David Glass’s court.