1.) Team signs starter, center fielder and first baseman
Arguably, the biggest determining factor in the chances of a Kansas City Royals postseason berth comes before the season even gets underway. To this point, the front office seems reluctant to pursue a particular offseason strategy. It’s understandable given how many variables there are at this point. Should Dayton Moore and Co. aim to be relevant next season there are three positions the franchise must target this winter.
First off, the team needs another solid starter to add to the rotation. This doesn’t need to be Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta, who are both clearly unattainable, but there are some decent options on the free agent market. Realistically, the team would need to look for a cheap bounce-back candidate. With Jason Vargas set to leave, the team could use another left-hander. MLB Trade Rumors predicted Jaime Garcia would sign with the Royals. But right-handers like Andrew Cashner and Tyler Chatwood could also be realistic options.
The team would also need to sign a center fielder and a first baseman to have any chance at making a playoff run. In theory, either one of Lorenzo Cain or Eric Hosmer and a slightly above replacement level player at the other position. Hosmer seems a far more likely signee, so pairing him with someone like old pal Jarrod Dyson would make sense. If Hosmer and Cain sign elsewhere, then Logan Morrison or another cheaper first baseman could be paired with Dyson or Cameron Maybin.
Remember, this isn’t necessarily the best offseason strategy for the long-term success of the organization. But it is the one that gives the Royals the best chance to compete in 2018.