Last year the Kansas City Royals were a team people thought should be sellers. Against the grain, the Royals kept everyone but fell short of the playoffs.
While it was not a guarantee that the Kansas City Royals were going to be buyer or sellers at the deadline last year, some suggested the Royals should sell to help prepare for the rebuild. Dayton Moore saw things differently and kept everyone. In fact, he “bought” low to try and help push the Royals ahead. It didn’t work out, and the Royals missed the playoffs.
Therefore, instead of getting prospects for Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, and Mike Moustakas at the trade deadline, the Royals had to get creative. They gave a Qualifying Offer to all three, hoping they would sign for $50 million plus to get a first-round compensation pick. If they signed for anything less, the Royals would get a second-round compensation pick, which isn’t as ideal.
By the end of the offseason, Cain and Hosmer had both signed for more than $50 million, giving the Royals two first-round compensation picks. Moustakas seemed to be getting a different treatment and signing for over $50 million didn’t seem likely.
Therefore, Moore made an interesting move and re-signed Moustakas to a one-year contract. Many believed the contract was a “gentlemen’s agreement”. Meaning the Royals signed Moustakas to a cheaper one-year deal with the intent to trade him to a contender come July. And the Royals held true to their end of the deal, trading Moustakas to the Milwaukee Brewers.
So what did the Royals do with the draft picks and trade?
The Royals were given the 33rd and 34th overall picks in the MLB Draft because of Cain’s 5-years/$80 million deal and Hosmer’s 8-years/$144 million. With the 33rd pick, the Royals took RHP Jackson Kowar from Florida. With the 34th pick, the Royals took LHP Daniel Lynch from Virginia.
Kowar is currently pitching at Lexington with a 10.13 ERA over his first three starts. Even though his numbers aren’t very impressive, the expectations for Kowar are pretty high. He is thought to have a chance of being a front-end starter for the Royals when they are competitive again. Currently, Kowar is ranked 4th in the Royals Top-30 prospects.
Lynch has been active within the Royals system so far. He started in Burlington but was quickly promoted to Lexington. While in Burlington, Lynch posted a 1.59 ERA over three starts and 11.1 innings, striking out 14 and walking just two. Since being promoted to Lexington, Lynch has posted a 1.93 ERA over three starts and 14.0 innings, striking out 13 and walking just two. Meaning, he’s made six starts on the year for 25.1 innings, striking out 27 and walking just four. Lynch is looking like a very promising starter for the Royals future as well, sitting as the Royals 9th best prospect.
Then we look at the Moustakas trade. When the Royals traded Moustakas to Milwaukee, Brett Phillips and Jorge Lopez were sent to Kansas City. Phillips can easily be a future outfielder for the Royals for the years to come and is currently ranked 8th on the Royals Top-30 prospects. Lopez stands a chance at being a decent bullpen arm for the Royals as well. Both just need time to showcase what they can do with regular action. Here is an article going deeper into what type of players Phillips and Lopez are.
While it is hard seeing Hosmer, Cain, and now Moustakas playing with another team, these three players have been vital in the future of the Royals. It was hard playing the “what if” game when it came to trading or keeping them last year. When they decided to go for it one last time, the Royals looked like they made a mistake.
Now that the main pieces of the Royals original core have ended their time in Kansas City, it is a wait-and-see game with who they helped the Royals acquire. While waiting is hard to do, these four additions to the team are vital in the rebuild. They are helping the Royals accelerate the teams rebuild and fans should be excited for these players.
Seeing what Dayton Moore has done with the Royals compensatory picks and with the Moustakas trade, it almost seemed like he knew what he was doing the whole time.
What do you think Royals fans? Was all of this “dumb luck” or do you think Dayton Moore had a plan he executed perfectly? Let us know below!