For all of the rhetoric about the Kansas City Royals bullpen being one of the best in baseball last season, they were truly a top heavy unit for much of the year. Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland were essentially the only three trustworthy relievers for much of the season. Of course, that changed when Jason Frasor was brought in before the trade deadline and Brandon Finnegan came up in September. Yet, even with those acquisitions, the Royals bullpen still posted a 3.30 ERA for the 2014 season, which while it is not terrible, was only tenth in baseball and hardly lights out.
The Royals have already made several decisions to revamp the bullpen for next year. Wade Davis had his option picked up. Earlier today, Jason Frasor was resigned and Aaron Crow was traded to the Miami Marlins. However, there is still a lot of work to be done. The next step in that bullpen rebuilding should involve trading Tim Collins.
Yes, Collins is a fan favorite, mainly due to his diminutive stature. And yes, his overall numbers last season, particularly his 3.86 ERA, look decent. However, Collins lost the faith of manager Ned Yost last season and spent approximately three months in the minor leagues. While the Royals have need of a left handed reliever, Collins does not appear as though he will be a part of the future of the bullpen.
Essentially, that left handedness is about the biggest asset that Tim Collins brings to the table for the Royals. Even with that, the Royals may have better options, either with Finnegan or in free agency. Collins, much like Crow earlier today, may find himself on the trading block, shipped out for an intriguing minor league player who could develop into a useful piece for the Royals.
Collins had been an important piece of the Royals bullpen, leading the team in holds with 21 back in 2013. However, Collins, much like Crow, gradually fell out of favor, becoming deposed as one of Yost’s primary setup options. Now, after spending what time he had on the major league roster as either a long reliever or a mop up pitcher, Collins just does appear to have a place with the Royals next season.
Maybe some team will want to give Tim Collins a chance to be its primary reliever. He does have a track record of having been a successful major league contributor, and may simply need a change of scenery. However, relief pitching is historically fungible by nature, and the Royals should be able to locate someone else to fill that role. If another team wants to take a chance, much like the Marlins did with Aaron Crow, then the Royals may be better off with the prospect.
Tim Collins had been a nice story for the Royals, and had performed well over for most of his time in Kansas City. Now, however, it is time that the Royals move on.