The Kansas City Royals have been quiet on the free agency front thus far. Let’s reflect on the month of November and look forward to December.
As the Major League Baseball offseason advances, Kings of Kauffman will provide monthly updates to encapsulate just what the Kansas City Royals have been up to. As far as November goes, the organization hasn’t done all too much.
Things have been pretty quiet in Kansas City as of late in regards to baseball. Arguably the most notable happening of the past few weeks’ events was the team’s sale to new owner John Sherman being made official. Some may be hopeful that this will result in an increase in the spending department and possibly some marquee names joining the club. Even before Sherman’s introductory press conference, it was believed he’d operate under a limited budget this year.
Consequently, the Royals have been one of the least active teams throughout the MLB. Below is a brief breakdown of what general manager Dayton Moore has accomplished thus far, along with what to expect as December is upon us.
Declining Alex Gordon’s mutual option
Longtime Royals outfielder and seven-time Gold Glove winner Alex Gordon had a $23 million option on his contract for the 2020 season, but it was a mutual one. Kansas City declined it, making Gordon a free agent. He has yet to decide whether he’ll return to baseball in 2020 but if he puts off hanging up the cleats for one more year, it’ll be for the Royals and no one else.
This move was a no-brainer for Moore and the Royals. Gordon means a ton to this city and the organization, but $23M is way too much for a player who isn’t a star. The 35-year-old was worth 1.2 bWAR in 2019 and could replicate that success during a potential last season in 2020, assuming he wants to return and will accept a significant pay cut.
Signing Matt Reynolds to a minor league contract
Former New York Met and Washington National Matt Reynolds joins the fold and provides some infield depth. The 28-year-old (29 within the next few days) didn’t see any MLB action in 2019 but hit for a .295/.401/.521 line in AAA Fresno. He’s a career .229 hitter at the major league level and doesn’t offer much upside, so the signing shouldn’t raise any eyebrows. At the end of the day, it’s a lottery ticket depth signing.
Parting ways with Jorge Bonifacio
After three years with the Royals, Jorge Bonifacio finds himself on the free agent market at the age of 26. He served a PED suspension in 2018, then played in just five games at the MLB level this past season. He’s got enough potential at the plate to warrant signing but it’s entirely possible he and the Royals simply needed to go their separate ways.
Over the next few weeks, expect there to be trade rumblings, contract extension talks and possibly a relief pitcher or two joining the fold. Other than that, we could be in for another uneventful offseason from the Kansas City Royals’ perspective.