Heading into the offseason, the Kansas City Royals will be looking to build around Jorge Soler, who had a breakout 2019 campaign.
For the Kansas City Royals, they will be entering the 2019 offseason following another 100-loss season. At the beginning of the season, they were projected to finish with a 63-96 record but their pitching staff made sure all hopes of doing so were immediately rejected. The team attempted to bring in free agents like Billy Hamilton, Chris Owings, and Lucas Duda last offseason and not one of them lasted longer than August 16 on the roster.
For as bad as they played in the first half of the season (30-61), the team showed remarkable improvement in the second half (29-42), which was primarily highlighted by the breakout season of Jorge Soler. The 27-year old managed to stay healthy for the first time in his career and led the American League in home runs. Whit Merrifield also continued his steady trend at the top of the Royals lineup and led the AL in hits for the second consecutive season, while eclipsing the 200 mark this year.
Hunter Dozier broke out this season as well, finishing with 26 home runs and 84 RBI’s in 136 games. He petered out towards the end and finished with an OPS below 0.900. Both he and Soler were looking to become just the third set of Royals’ teammates to finish with 0.900+ OPS seasons but it just wasn’t meant to be.
Dozier was clutch all year long and has locked down the third base job for the future with a struggling Cheslor Cuthbert failing to take the next step this season. The Royals will head into the offseason with a lot of work to do and likely won’t be able to accomplish it all this offseason. Combined with the development of their prospects in the lower levels, the Royals will need to be proactive in free agency to fill the holes on their roster if they want to avoid another 100-loss season.
Let’s dive into the offseason primer.