Hope 1: Veterans contribute in a positive manner
While this seems logical, the Kansas City Royals haven’t been so fortunate as of late to have this come true. With veterans like Brandon Maurer, Justin Grimm, and Blain Boyer being more of a hindrance than a positive contribution to the team, the Royals need to try and avoid those types of situations by simply not signing many free agents.
This year the Royals are hoping to fall on some better luck. Chris Owings may have struggled in 2018 with the Diamondbacks, his 2016/2017 campaign showed that he does have the ability to be a productive contributor to his team. Hitting a combined .273/.308/.428 over 216 games, if the Royals can get him to produce something similar then they should easily be able to flip in come June/July.
After being rumored to be looking for a veteran arm to add to the bullpen, the Kansas City Royals were able to get a potential diamond in the rough for only $2.2 million. After posting a rough 4.39 ERA in 2018 over 53.1 innings, the former All-Star has shown the ability to be a lockdown closer.
In 2015, Boxberger posted a 3.71 ERA over 63.0 innings and collecting 41 saves, Boxberger has shown the ability to anchor a bullpen. Which, to start the 2019 season he seemingly continued his 2015 campaign as being a shutdown closer.
Over the first half of the 2018 season, Boxberger posted an impressive 3.06 ERA over 35.1 innings and 38 appearances. He also logged 24 saves and 49 strikeouts compared to 18 walks. However, he seemed to wear down as the year went on, posting a 7.00 ERA over 18.0 innings and 22 appearances. He only logged 8 saves and 22 strikeouts compared to 14 walks.
If Boxberger can avoid a second-half collapse as he had in 2018, the trade value of him come June and July will be relatively high. While the Royals won’t get a teams Top-10 prospect, the notion of getting a Top-30 prospect isn’t out of the equation.
The concept that we applied to Boxberger also applies to Billy Hamilton. The speedy center fielder has been someone the Royals have had on their radar for a while due to valuing speed and defense. The hope is that Hamilton can improve his offensive numbers in the large outfields of Kauffman Stadium, increasing his trade value.
At the end of the day, the Royals are most likely going to try and trade their three veteran players. However, if they don’t produce the way they hope for, they aren’t paying them a significant amount of money, so they aren’t breaking the bank on them.