Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The offseason is officially upon us. Qualifying offers have been handed out, and the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels have already made a trade. Later today, free agency will start in earnest, as each team looks to fill out their roster and make the moves that bring them to the postseason.
While several teams have quite the extensive shopping list, the Kansas City Royals find themselves in the enviable position of returning most of their roster. At this point, Billy Butler, Nori Aoki and Jason Frasor are the most notable players from last year’s team in free agency, and James Shields could potentially join them if he turns down the qualifying offer.
However, while the Royals may not have a lot on their list, expectations are higher than they have been in approximately thirty years. After making the World Series, and coming within a game of bringing the crown back to Kansas City, a season of middling free agent moves may seem like the Royals are not investing that extra revenue from the playoffs on the team. For all the goodwill that had been generated from that playoff push, a failure to build upon that momentum could be considered to be a step back.
What could the Kansas City Royals do this offseason? Here is a look at each of the prospective holes on the roster heading into free agency, and how the Royals could look to fill out those problems.