Kansas City Royals are at a Crossroads


Welcome to the winter of our Kansas City Royals discontent.

The Kansas City Royals, as a franchise, find themselves at a crossroads. Coming off consecutive World Series appearances, the Royals find themselves with numerous openings on their roster and a great many questions. As things currently stand, they are considered to have no chance at retaining fan favorite Alex Gordon, while rentals Ben Zobrist and Johnny Cueto predictably signed elsewhere.

That is not to say that the Royals have not been active. They signed Joakim Soria, who was arguably the best free agent reliever available. Chris Young was brought back on a two year deal to serve in that same long man/spot starter role. The Royals have also been linked to a number of other players, most notably Scott Kazmir and Yovani Gallardo. It feels as though something will happen in the near future for the Royals in free agency.

Yet, that is where the crossroads come in to play. The Royals could either look to extend their window, aiming for another championship in the next couple of seasons, or they could look to build for the future and take another shot somewhere down the line. Conceivably, the Royals could do both, but they would be walking a fine line in free agency if they go that route.

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This is what the Royals are up against. Seemingly no matter what direction they go in, their choice will be ripe for second guessing and lengthy debate. However, that path may be determined for them as free agents continue to sign. Should Gordon truly leave Kansas City, then the Royals may find themselves forced to build for the future once again.

Yet, in looking at the past few offseasons for the Royals, is this really different than usual? The Royals are not likely to be among the top spenders in free agency at any point in time, and just supplement their roster through intelligent, low cost signings. Dayton Moore has proven himself to be quite adept in this area over the past few offseasons, leaving us no reason to doubt his ability to replicate his magic again.

The reason why there is so much concern over the Royals offseason may simply be due to the names that could be lost. While we all expected that Cueto and Zobrist would be rentals, the reality of both players leaving in free agency simply drives home that point. Gordon leaving would be a shock to the collective system, but should it really be one?

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The Kansas City Royals are in a different spot simply because they won the World Series last year. Otherwise, it is business as usual as they are maintaining their long term projections with competing this upcoming season.