Major League Baseball officially began its offseason Monday after the Red Sox exposed the Dodgers to win the series 4-1. Naturally, Kansas City Royals fans fall into two categories this time of the year.
There are those who couldn’t care less about the MLB until Spring Training. The rest of us obsess in following Kansas City Royals players in the Arizona Fall League and other fall leagues. I think I fall into the second category. While pursuing Twitter and other sources for any Royals’ news I could find this week, I began to think of a short list of pitchers I would like to see on the Royals’ roster on opening day.
I began to look around to see who has been released or not re-signed on other clubs. Then I thought to myself, who could we make a trade for this offseason to make our pitching staff better.
My short answer is “no one”. If I had one wish for Dayton Moore it would be NOT to go out and sign a pitcher this offseason for trade equity. Sure, I want to see the Royals win right now, but that is not realistic. The Royals are in the middle of a rebuild, and for a small market team to go spend money on one or two pitchers would be a waste trade equity.
I believe we have guys on our roster who can help our team accomplish our 2019 goals. If I was to put together a fantasy roster based on our current roster for starting pitchers right now this is who I would choose: Heath Fillmyer, Jacob Junis, Brad Keller, Ian Kennedy (unless you can trade him for more draft equity), Jason Adam and Scott Barlow (I would split time with these two guys until you figure out if they are ready).
Admittedly this is not a playoff contending lineup, although it could be with some adjustments in 2020. You give these guys a full season to see what they have right now. There may be others that need to take up a roster spot as well (such as Richard Lovelady, but that is a discussion for another day).
Overall, I would give guys a shot for 30-60 games at a time and see what they have right now. Obviously, we know enough about Kennedy, Junis and Fillmyer. I am comfortable rolling with these guys to help our younger two or three (maybe more if there are injuries) get their feet wet at the major league level.
One gift the Royals have right now are a plethora of middle of the road pitchers who may never help us win a World Series. However, we have guys who will pitch their heart out and give everything they have to help make our team better.
I would rather go with guys who have heart in a rebuild/rebound year than to give up valuable trade equity for one or two pitchers who would move onto the next team in 2020.