The 2020 season is winding down for the KC Royals, so thoughts turn to 2021. Here are four players the club shouldn’t consider bringing back next year.
With less than two weeks left to play and their playoff hopes falling just short of fantasy, the KC Royals have reached the point of no realistic return. While winning remains the goal for this campaign, the club must begin crafting a better team for 2021.
General manager Dayton Moore, together with his scouts, assistants and new owner John Sherman, are sure to seek help from within and without the organization. Rarely big spenders on the free agent market, and too frequently burned when they are, expect the Royals to resort once again to a trade or two and the inexpensive, low-risk free agent signings that occasionally pay off.
Fortunately, the club’s vastly improved pitching means finding mound help will be less of a priority than in the last few offseasons. The urgent need is better bats and the KC Royals won’t win consistently until they get them.
How to make room for improvements is the question; the Royals can cut players, trade them, and avoid pursuing others whose contracts are ending this season or nearing expiration.
No contemporary KC Royals’ offseason speculation would be complete without considering the fate of Alex Gordon, the veteran Gold Glove collector who last season followed three miserable years at the plate with serviceable hitting. His offense is improving after a slow start and his defense remains excellent, so unless he implodes at the plate down the stretch, he’ll probably be back. (Whether he should return is a discussion for another day).
Although other players in the organization under current scrutiny, such as the Ryans O’Hearn and McBroom, have minor league options remaining and might not be sacrificed to create sufficient space for newcomers on the 40-man roster, any players acquired for immediate improvement will require room. Here are four suggestions for saving space easily.