Royals: The calm before the (free agent) storm

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Get ready… the free agent storm is coming for all 30 MLB teams, and the Kansas City Royals are facing a critical offseason.

The 2019 MLB offseason is officially upon us. As general manager meetings happen down in Scottsdale, Arizona, trade deals are inevitably going to be discussed. While the Kansas City Royals don’t have many horses in this race, they’ll do their due diligence to leave no stones unturned. Trades aren’t the topic of today’s article, though, free agency is.

On top of the World Series being over, teams extending qualifying offers to their players, awards being announced and new managers being hired, free agents are on the market. The usual high rollers (Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees) will spend big, but small-market clubs like the Royals will have to be smart with their limited funds. Marquee names such as Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg are probably out of the question.

With that said, this lack of huge spending doesn’t mean the Royals can’t have a successful offseason. As mentioned in our “Making the case” free agency series, there are plenty of names out there that would make tremendous additions to the team. Cost-effective options and potential reunions are all on the table.

Much like the last offseason, the “calm before the storm” has been nearly silent. Gone are the days of which MLB teams would jump to make offers and sign players to deals. Organizations think more methodically now and aren’t in a rush to overspend. Players know this, and will often wait out the market until deep in the winter — often times even the turn of the calendar. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Kansas City is focused on the future, with 2021 being coined by many as the year of a return to competitiveness. It doesn’t make much sense to sign anyone to long-term contracts unless they fit into the long-term plans of the team. On the other hand, standing pat and returning the majority of a 103-loss club from 2019 also doesn’t sound enticing. Something in the middle will make for both an improved 2020, but also maintain some flexibility for 2021.

Next. Jorge Soler and the arbitration process. dark

The winter storm is going to come, whether the Kansas City Royals like it or not. A bit of snow came through the Kansas City area on Wednesday, but the bigger flakes will fall soon enough. Dayton Moore and company might as well grab a mug of hot cocoa, sit back and enjoy the ride.