For the first time in a long time, the Kansas City Royals have a question mark at the closer role. Here’s a look at several of the possible options.
Sadly, the days of the Kansas City Royals having a shutdown bullpen seem to be behind us. The relief corps struggled through overuse, injury and ineffectiveness during the 2017 season. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any capable arms in the Royals bullpen. In fact, the club has several potential candidates who are well suited to take over as closer for 2018.
It doesn’t make sense for the team to spend money on any big-name relievers on the free agent market. It is also unlikely Dayton Moore would pull the trigger on a trade to bring in a big arm given the state of the farm system and the team as a whole. Because of this, only “internal” options will be looked at in this article — although, we’re being a little liberal with that term.
While some players mentioned are more realistic choices than others, all could realistically be in the 2018 bullpen as positive contributors at the same time. Depending on which direction the front office takes and how effective their teammates are, each one could be in the ninth inning mix. We’ll rank the top five candidates from least likely to most likely. But let’s start with a wild card candidate.