The delayed start to the 2020 baseball season will have many impacts, including for the KC Royals and a few of their players under contract.
Not to lessen the major disruptions in our daily lives but as we look ahead to what a short season would be for Major League Baseball, there are several ramifications for the KC Royals and certain players. Assuming the trade deadline is affected, getting off to a good start will be key for those who need to build equity to obtain better deals next year.
Of course, there are many other factors to consider for 2020, including service time for younger stars and many arbitration-eligible players that will need to rely on percentage-based statistics as opposed to typical 162-game numbers.
One such player is Maikel Franco. The Royals signed him for a quiet $2.95 million in the offseason and it is only for one year. Obviously the team was counting on him rebounding and being able to flip him for a prospect. If he gets off to a slow start, though, it will be hard to deal him even at that salary. That will make moving Hunter Dozier to right field more questionable even if the franchise feels Kelvin Gutierrez is the third baseman of the future.
Franco is taking a risk as well. If he has trouble getting into the swing of the season with the spring training start then extended break, it will hurt his chances of landing a bigger contract next season.
Ian Kennedy will also have to come roaring out of the gate in order for the Royals to flip him quickly assuming the trade deadline window is shorter than normal years. If he struggles there is no reason for a team to give up younger players to secure his services.
While there is no concern for trading or another team grabbing Alex Gordon in 2021, there will be disappointed fans who will not get to see him patrolling left field as much. We assume we are living on borrowed time with the future Royal Hall-of-Famer and if this is his last season there is less of it to be played.
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Again, we have better things to concern ourselves with, but baseball has a way of normalizing us through difficult times. Checking in on potential outcomes due to the shortened season is one way to think about the positive times to come.