Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
In just a few short hours, free agency will begin in earnest across baseball. Already, the Kansas City Royals have made a number of moves, declining the options for players like Alex Rios, Jeremy Guthrie and Jonny Gomes while picking up the options for Wade Davis and Alcides Escobar.
Meanwhile, Alex Gordon declined his player option to test free agency. Greg Holland, who is on the mend from Tommy John surgery, was not offered arbitration. Ben Zobrist and Johnny Cueto, two key pieces in the Royals postseason run, will be free agents. Chris Young, who was such a vital part of the Royals ability to weather the storms in their rotation, is likely to receive a decent offer on the open market. Likewise, the Royals bullpen is in a state of flux, with Kelvin Herrera, Davis and Luke Hochevar are the only key pieces set to return.
It certainly appears as though Dayton Moore will have his work cut out for him this offseason. Moore may also have more pressure than he has had in his time with the Royals, especially as the team is coming off a World Series victory and consecutive American League Championships. With the window of opportunity potentially closing, Moore will need to be creative to keep the Royals on a championship level.
A large part of that task will come to how he looks at free agency, and how Moore looks at those players that could potentially depart from the Kansas City Royals. With free agency set to begin, let us take a look at five of the key pieces that are set to test the waters of free agency, and whether or not they have played their last games as members of the Royals.
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