The Royals allowed the Monday deadline to pass without extending qualifying offers to Kendrys Morales or Edinson Volquez.
According to the Kansas City Star, the KC Royals opted not to extend $17.2 million qualifying offers to either Kendrys Morales and Edinson Volquez. The most interesting tid-bit of information was that the front office decided not to offer Morales a qualifying offer because they were afraid he’d might accept.
That’s sort of an interesting take when you consider that Morales became the first KC Royals player to slam 30 or more home runs since Jermaine Dye who hit 33 in 2000.
The reason that this concern makes sense is that Morales only posted a 108 OPS+ (8% percent better than a league average hitter). The risk of gambling $17.2 million in order to secure a compensation pick if Moralas leaves in free-agency.
The bottom line is we see the Royals really do have payroll concerns. Otherwise, they wouldn’t risk allowing 30 home runs to leave—even if Morales will hit age 33 next year.
More from Kings of Kauffman
KC Royals Rumors: Is a monster move in the cards?
KC Royals Free Agent Hunt: 3 Tampa Bay pitchers
Grading the 2022 KC Royals: The $25 million man
KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Expectations met
KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Day 3 update
The free-agent market opens its doors on Tuesday, with both Edinson Volquez and Kendrys Morales included in the mix. However, I highly doubt that Kansas City will offer anyone large contracts like they showered on left fielder Alex Gordon (4-years, $72 million) and starting pitcher Ian Kennedy (5-years, $70 million).
I expect Kansas City restricting itself to allowing the initial market rush to settle before trying to pick off bargains in the latter stages. If they make any major moves, it will be dealing a core piece to shake up their roster.
But, what do I know? Last year I thought it made more sense to bring back Ben Zobrist than Alex Gordon. I believed Alex Gordon was out of reach. And, I didn’t even dream they’d make such a large commitment to a mid-tier pitcher like Ian Kennedy.
I firmly believe that general manager Dayton Moore WILL shake up the roster at least a little bit. Standing relatively pat last season didn’t work. I believe Moore when he says he intends to do something a bit different this winter.
Given the weak free-agency market, that means he’s going to have to make trades.