Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals are Moving Up the Power Rankings

When a team has a successful offseason, expectations rise. That has certainly been the case for the Kansas City Royals this offseason, as they have taken care of several holes in the roster. Norichika Aoki and Omar Infante are likely to be the top two hitters in the lineup, while Jason Vargas fills the void left by Bruce Chen. Now, if only they can bring back Ervin Santana…..

Even with the possible hole in the rotation, the Royals have still had an excellent offseason as they have remade their team. These moves have been enough where the Royals have been ranked thirteenth in the latest power rankings issued by, only behind the Detroit Tigers in their final rankings of 2013.

Are the Royals, as presently constructed, the second best team in the American League Central? While the Twins have improved, they still are likely not a contender this season. The White Sox likely would not have been a contender anyway, but they took a step back as they attempt to get younger. The Indians were a surprise last season, but need to replace two starters in their rotation and have also seemingly taken a step back. With the Tigers trading away Prince Fielder and Doug Fister, the gap between the Royals and the Tigers may even be smaller than it is thought to be at this point.

Considering where the Royals had been before last season, and over the majority of the past two decades, being considered one of the better teams before the start of the season is definitely a step in the right direction. The Royals may even be a trendy pick to make the postseason, expected to end their postseason drought after 29 long years. Playing in what is expected to be a weaker division while the American League East and West beat up upon one another, the Royals could well slip in as a Wild Card.

There is still a long time between now and Opening Day. Difference makers such as Santana, Matt Garza and Masahiro Tanaka have yet to sign. But for now, the Kansas City Royals are expected to be a playoff contender and may even be able to challenge the Tigers for the division. That alone justifies their standing at this point in the offseason.

Tags: Kansas City Royals

  • moretrouble

    David, I don’t think Cleveland is done yet. Jimenez likes that pitching coach over there and the Indians are still in play on Ubaldo. But, as you pointed out, they still need one more. With Detroit planning on going with a rookie 3bman and Drew Smyly in their rotation, KC is in as good a shape as the others.

    I’d love to see KC sign Santana and give Ventura one more year at AAA. But, if not, I think Duffy and Ventura can perform very well at the big league level. The KC starting rotation could turn into a strength.

    With 2012 fresh in the minds of fans, I can see why everyone is worried. I’m not sure the front office has the same level of concern. They’ve got a lot of options for filling the last rotation spot. I just hope Santana is still one of them.

    Shields – Santana – Duffy – Guthrie – Vargas. That’s a pretty nice rotation.

    • Dave Hill

      I don’t think Cleveland is done yet either, but they have not done much thus far. If these are the teams going into Spring Training, then the Royals appear to have surpassed the Indians.

      If the Royals can get Santana back, that makes the battle between Kansas City and Detroit a lot more interesting.