Alex Rios Chose the Royals for Playoff Push
By David Hill
Certain teams have become a destination for free agents, not just because of the money they can spend, but for their chances of reaching the playoffs. Teams like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals can attract free agents not just for what they can spend, but for the chance to play in the postseason almost every year. The Kansas City Royals, for quite some time, have not been one of those teams.
It is amazing how much of a difference a World Series run can make. Now, the Royals are one of those teams where players are heading to in order to make the playoffs. For Alex Rios, who has never made the postseason in his eleven year major league career, that chance to finally taste the playoffs was a major part of his decision to come to the Royals.
There has been a decided shift in the Royals over the past two seasons. Since the acquisition of James Shields and Wade Davis, the Royals have gone from being a team that hoped for a better future to a team that knows they can win. Sometimes, it just takes that one move to make a difference. Now, players like Alex Rios are looking to the Royals as a team where they can reach that promised land.
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This is the way it used to be. Back in the Royals heyday during the mid 1970’s through the mid 1980’s, they were a perennial playoff contender. Players like Rios would head to the Royals to get that postseason run, knowing that they had a legitimate chance to be playing October baseball. Right now, it seems that those times may be back.
The Royals are not going to outspend the competition to draw free agents. They will never be the Dodgers or the Yankees, with payrolls over $200 Million. However, they may now have another way to draw in free agents – success. Want to reach the playoffs? Come to Kansas City!
That is the path that Alex Rios took. With another successful season in 2015, he may not be the only one.