With the Kansas City Royals recent postseason success and World Series victory, it was expected that their payroll would increase beyond last season’s record amount. Well, not so fast.
The Kansas City Royals are likely never going to be among the top teams in baseball when it comes to budget. With a television contract that is among the worst in the sport, and their small market status, difficult decisions need to be made at times. This offseason, the Royals have been faced with quite a few of those decisions already, as they have seen Ben Zobrist and Johnny Cueto sign elsewhere.
The conventional school of thought is that, perhaps, the Royals are saving their money to sign Alex Gordon once he figures out his market, and/or to extend several players on their roster long term. While that is the ideal situation for the Royals, that may not be a realistic situation.
In fact, the Royals financial situation, even with the World Series victory and recent run of success, may not change all too much. As Sam Mellinger stated several days ago, the Royals payroll may not increase much beyond their Opening Day mark from last season. If that ends up being the case, Gordon’s time in Kansas City may very well be over.
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It is that limited budget, as well as the Royals desire for financial flexibility, that have limited their free agent spending this offseason. Joakim Soria does further strengthen the Royals bullpen, but he is not exactly a game changing signing. Right now, the biggest splashes that the Royals may make would involve signing their own players to long term extensions, especially as Gordon is likely to be far beyond their budget.
That is the problem. The Royals would like to retain Gordon, but need to look forward to the long term stability of the franchise financially. However, if the Royals are unable to extend any of their targets, and Gordon signs what appears to be a reasonable contract, the second guessing will be in full effect. Dayton Moore is between a rock and a hard place now, as the Royals success has led to a fanbase that is now demanding that the success of the past few seasons continue for as long as possible.
Should the Royals be able to continue with their success next year, Moore may well have performed his most masterful work. The championship run was spectacular to behold, but with the numerous players leaving through free agency and a limited budget to work with, Moore has quite the task ahead.
The Kansas City Royals will have quite a few changes come Opening Day, but the payroll is not likely to be one of them. It will be fascinating to see how the offseason will shake out in Kansas City.