KC Royals: Club is a bystander as AL Central improves

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

While some other AL Central teams are making moves to improve, the KC Royals seem content with playing the wait-and-see game.

The American League Central division has undergone a complete and utter makeover since the 2015 season ended. Long gone are the days of the KC Royals winning 90-plus games (and also the World Series). Also gone are the days of the Cleveland Indians headlining the division by themselves. Things are changing.

The Detroit Tigers, much like the Royals, have had quite the fall from grace and are now bottom feeders in the Central. Ron Gardenhire‘s bunch should compete with the hometown team for the final two spots in the division. At the top, though, the rest of the teams have been hard at work preparing for what should shape up to be a solid competition while KC stands pat.

After posting a 72-89 record a season ago, the Chicago White Sox are looking to turn things around in 2020. Acquiring starters Gio Gonzalez and Dallas Keuchel to bolster the rotation and arms like Steve Cishek to help out the bullpen, the pitching staff should be much stronger. Bringing in veteran designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion to add some pop to the lineup certainly doesn’t hurt things, either.

Moving up the order from last season, the Cleveland Indians are coming off a 93-win season that saw them come up just short of a playoff spot. Rather than hitting the free agent market to sign tons of players, the club has banked on the return of healthy players for 2020 to put Cleveland back in the postseason. Trading former Cy Young winner Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers after a rough, yet brief 2019 season, Terry Francona‘s squad is still in win-now mode.

At the very top of the division, the Minnesota Twins are poised to become even better. Signing superstar third baseman Josh Donaldson to slide into a lineup that set an MLB record for home runs in a season last year, every hitter 1-9 is talented. Throw in a couple of additions to both the rotation and the bullpen — and you’ve got a downright scary team heading into 2020.

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The KC Royals are content with not improving all that much as we approach the new season. That’s okay, though. Breaking the bank to sign a marquee free agent would result in just five-or-so more wins for a bad 2020 team. Simply put — it’s not worth it. While the “cream of the crop” of the AL Central gears up for a highly-contested race now, Dayton Moore is constructing this team for a marathon down the road.