Last year, the experts doubted the Kansas City Royals moves during the offseason. This year, as the Royals look to defend their World Series victory, those doubts are beginning to circulate once again.
Prior to the start of the 2015 season, there were quite a few questions surrounding the Kansas City Royals. Kendrys Morales was the Royals biggest move on offense, replacing the departed Billy Butler. Edinson Volquez was brought in to replace James Shields, leading to the question of whether or not he would be capable of such a performance.
Well, as it turned out, those moves certainly paid dividends. Morales provided the Royals with a power element they had lacked, helping to anchor a lineup that saw breakthrough performances from Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain. Volquez turned out to be the Royals most consistent starter, more than replacing Shields as the team marched to the World Series, bringing the title back to Kansas City.
Now, despite the Royals shelling out the seventh most amount of money in baseball this offseason, those doubters are beginning to appear once again. In his most recent article for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo considered the Royals as having the third worst offseason in baseball this past year.
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The gripes set forth by Carfardo are predictable. Ben Zobrist departed, and the Royals have “replaced” Johnny Cueto with Ian Kennedy. Joakim Soria helps the bullpen, but Cafardo notes that the Royals are still looking for further upgrades there. While he does give the front office credit for bringing back Alex Gordon, on what has turned out to be a relatively team friendly contract, he feels those losses outweigh what Kansas City has brought in.
These were essentially the same questions last season. The Royals brought in Morales and Volquez, who were considered to be question marks, but proved to be exactly what they needed. Dayton Moore, over the past three years, has proven to be correct more often than not with the various moves that he has made. Perhaps at some point, his signings will backfire, but at this point, he has earned the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe the Kansas City Royals did not match the bigger names that went to teams like the Red Sox and the Tigers, but winning the offseason does not matter. What matters is how these teams perform once the season begins, and the Royals are likely to prove their doubters wrong once more.