2.) Sign Tyler Chatwood in Free Agency
The Kansas City Royals have enough in-house pitching options to replace Vargas. With the team unlikely to finish with a winning record — more or less stay in the playoff hunt — the sensible thing for 2018 would be to give some younger guys a chance to start. That doesn’t mean the team shouldn’t look to bolster the rotation with a potential offseason steal.
The organization would be smart to give Jake Junis a spot in the rotation, while simultaneously looking for the next Junis within its minor league ranks. Simultaneously, the Kansas City Royals need to focus on building the rotation of the future, which won’t include Ian Kennedy or Jason Hammel.
Kennedy needs to be kept in the rotation. Firstly, he is owed too much money to justify a bullpen spot. Secondly, there is a chance he bounces back next year enough to earn a midseason trade. Hammel, though, doesn’t need to remain a starter. His ability to pitch twice through the order extremely well would make him an effective long reliever, particularly if the organization runs out spot starters on a regular basis.
All of that leads to my overarching point: The Kansas City Royals need to sign Tyler Chatwood this winter. General manager Dayton Moore is unlikely to spend big money on a free agent pitcher, especially if he re-signs Hosmer. That’s perfectly fine, because Chatwood should be a cheap alternative who can be a valued member of the starting rotation.
His struggles recently in Colorado will see him available for comparable prices to several aging pitchers. The almost-28-year-old made a recent list outlining possible cheap free agent pitcher targets. Of those mentioned, he elicited the most excitement. His age and pitching numbers away from Coors Field (3.49 ERA and 1.23 WHIP) should make him an offseason target.