Royals: Making the case for free agency, Rockies edition

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images /

Ahead of Kansas City Royals free agency, let’s take a look at the Colorado Rockies’ upcoming free agents and decide whether the team should pursue any.

Welcome to the continuation of our “Kansas City Royals: Making the case” series for free agency. After qualifying for a playoff spot in back-to-back seasons, the Colorado Rockies came back down to earth in 2019. Winning just 71 games, it was a humbling season for manager Bud Black and company. Luckily for them, they won’t have too many questions to answer in regards to who to retain or let go this winter.

Per Spotrac’s official list, there are just four pieces within the Rockies organization that are set to hit the open market within the next couple of weeks. Are any of the names worth taking a flyer on? Let’s find out.

Chris RusinP

Rusin pitched a total of one (1) major league inning in 2019. He gave up four runs. A 6.58 ERA in Triple-A is a cause for concern. Rusin tossed 54.2 innings in 2018 but was far below replacement level. At 33, he offers no upside.

Verdict: Pass

D.J. JohnsonP

Johnson is 30 years old, yet has appeared at the MLB level in just the last two seasons. After picking up his lone career win in 6.2 innings with Colorado a year ago, the right-handed reliever saw his ERA jump to 5.04 this past season. He wouldn’t be the worst option available on the market but if Dayton Moore can refrain from making Johnson a Royal, no one would object.

Verdict: Pass

Drew ButeraC

Many fans will remember Butera for his work with the Royals from 2015-2018. A stellar defensive backup for Salvador Perez, Butera was a part of the 2015 World Series team. Aside from 2016, he’s never been even remotely close to an average hitter and at 36 years old, his defense could soon lose a ton of value. A Butera signing would make for a great rush of memories and a couple of hair flips, but that’s it.

Verdict: Pass

Next. Making the case for free agency, Reds edition. dark

Yonder Alonso, 1B

Alonso had a terrible 2019. Posting a .199/.296/.346 line and seeing his home run total decrease by more than 50 percent from the year before, Alonso’s play has worsened since he made the All-Star team in 2017. He could be a candidate for a bounceback season in 2020 but the last thing the Royals need is an inconsistent first baseman.

Verdict: Pass