Kansas City Royals: More than one way to build a bullpen

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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Kansas City Royals, James Shields
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Royals can plug some holes in their existing talent and compete in 2020. Waiting for the 2018 draft picks to improve this team is a choice.

If we are serious about competing now, great. Let’s compete. Go get a 2013 James Shields. We need a top-end starter. Not a bargain bin find. Not a has-been trying to spend one last summer in The Show.

We need a true top of the rotation arm. It makes everything easier. It means everyone moves down a spot in the level of responsibilities and expectations. It enables us to shift some talent, like Duffy, to the bullpen. And it makes the bullpen responsible for fewer innings next season.

Brad Keller is a huge success story for Dayton Moore. I continue to be impressed with the pitcher he is becoming. And the most impressive thing about Keller is that he appears to still be improving in key facets of his game. That said, if he is our Opening Day starter next year then we are not serious about contending in 2020. And, if that is the case then we need to make moves now to ensure that we have the talent here for 2021 or 2022 when the pitching finally begins to arrive.

Next. Greg Bird is a non-tender candidate worth pursuing. dark

But, as I said, we do not have to wait. We have even done this before. Bumgarner is gettable. And there will even be plenty of options for our newest version of what Ervin Santana was in 2013. Jake Odorizzi would look good back in Royals blue. Michael Pineda has almost made it certain that he will be available on a short-term inexpensive deal. What do you say, John Sherman? Let’s fix this bullpen. And let’s do it by bringing in some real starting pitching.