KC Royals Pick Up Options On Wade Davis, Alcides Escobar; Decline Jonny Gomes


KC Royals GM Dayton Moore continued to take care of business before the November 9 opening to free agency by picking up team options on closer Wade Davis and shortstop Alcides Escobar, but declining the option on reserve outfielder Jonny Gomes.

The Kansas City Royals will pay the soon-to-be 30-year-old Wade Davis $8 million for 2016, and $5.25 million to the soon-to-be 29-year-old Alcides Escobar. The KC Royals also hold team options for both players in 2017. Meanwhile, Moore decided against bringing back Jonny Gomes for $3 million.

Bringing back both Wade Davis and Alcides Escobar were foregone conclusions. With free-agents running about $7 million per Win Above Replacement (WAR) in the open market last winter, Davis and Escobar are clear bargains at their option prices. Alcides Escobar was worth 1.5 fWAR in 2015, plus won the American League Championship Series MVP. Wade Davis checked in with an outstanding 2.0 fWAR for a reliever according to Fangraphs.com.

Both players earned All-Star nods in 2015.

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Meanwhile, the KC Royals appreciated Jonny Gomes clubhouse presence down the stretch—especially helping Christian Colon get ready for his Game 5 plate appearance to take the lead. However, Gomes only hit .167/.233/.235 for the Kansas City Royals after joining the team in August in a post-deadline trade deal.

The soon-to-be 35-year-old Gomes is still a valuable reserve bat against left-handed pitchers, and seems to win wherever he goes. Yet, the KC Royals apparently value $3 million in payroll flexibility at this stage of free-agency over bringing back Gomes.

Jonny Gomes, however, will always have the memory of his epic speech at the World Series victory parade.

While it does not appear that Jonny Gomes will be part of the 2016 team, he could still return if the Kansas City Royals cannot reach a deal with LF Alex Gordon. Gordon declined his $12.8 million player option for 2016, and the KC Royals will tender him a $15.8 million qualifying offer. That offer will ensure that Kansas City will get an unprotected draft pick from any team that signs Gordon in free-agency.

Despite celebrating the 2015 World Series win in a Kansas City parade just two days ago, general manager Dayton Moore is already deep into shaping the 2016 roster.

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KC Royals fans can only hope Dayton Moore hasn’t lost the Midas touch he showed last winter.