Over the past few years, the Kansas City Royals have been able to find success on the pitching scrap heap. At this point, they should be considered a destination for any pitcher looking to regain their value.
The Kansas City Royals have done a tremendous job in building their pitching staff from the middle tiers of free agency. Pitchers like Jason Vargas and Edinson Volquez may not have moved the radar when they are signed, and the Royals bullpen has had a great deal of players from the scrap heap. Last year, pitchers like Chris Young, Joe Blanton, Ryan Madson and Franklin Morales were all essentially ignored in free agency until they found a home in Kansas City.
Now, a year later, it is amazing how perceptions change. Volquez is considered to be a bargain for the Royals, as he is signed for $9.5 Million next year with a team option of $10 Million in 2017. Young may well be back with the Royals, either filling in as the fifth starter or reprising his role as a long reliever and rotation depth. Madson, surprisingly, signed with the Oakland A’s on a three year, $22 Million contract. Not bad for a pitcher who had one healthy season in the past four years.
With a number of pitchers each season looking for a one year contract to get their careers back on track, the Kansas City Royals may well find themselves as a destination spot for players in that position. After all, when gambling on their ability to resurrect their careers, why not head to a team with a track record of success in such cases?
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Such a situation would benefit the Royals as well. With numerous holes to fill on their roster and a limited budget, if the Royals were able to fill out their rotation or a portion of their bullpen with potential one year bargains, this would fill up the money to sign players elsewhere. Given that the roster is in a state of flux currently, such bargain players would certainly help the Royals bridge the gap until the next wave of prospects would be ready.
That success, and the wizardry of Dave Eiland, may be enough to woo prospective free agents. Should the Royals have interest in pitchers like Mat Latos or Neftali Feliz, they may be able to right the ship and get them back to being the productive assets they had been in years past. These pitchers would increase their value; the Royals would get that quality arm at low cost. It’s a true win-win situation!
The Kansas City Royals have done a great job at rebuilding the careers of quite a few pitchers over the past few seasons. At this point, the Royals should be a destination for pitchers looking to rebuild their value on a one year contract.