The KC Royals need a stronger veteran starter for 2021
The KC Royals have plenty of things to address in the offseason, and while pitching might not be at the forefront, a veteran starter should be.
It won’t be long before the KC Royals and every other team in the MLB start to make some moves. While overall offseason plans are kept within the organization for the most part, fans will have some idea where the clubs are looking to go before the 2021 season starts.
For the Royals, comments have been made about supplementing the bullpen. There are plenty of young arms that need guidance in the pen. There is also the question of replacing Alex Gordon in the outfield. The infield has some questions as well, such as will Hunter Dozier stick at first, and does the Nicky Lopez and Adalberto Mondesi combo produce enough to be justified?
Typically, starting pitching is an area of need for the Royals, and while every team likely looks at starters in the offseason, it may not be as high on the radar this year. The Royals pitching was servicable and while the young arms struggled a bit, it’s likely they will be stronger in 2021.
There are plenty of other promising arms coming up through the system in Kansas City as well, just waiting for their shot in the majors. For some, the idea might be that the Royals money is better spent on a bat or two. Often during the 2020 season, games could have been won but offensive production seemed to stall.
While adding to the offense is an obvious need, the argument is there as well for a starting pitcher, but specifically, a veteran who has seen sustained success. Just as Trevor Rosenthal and Greg Holland helped to provide guidance in the bullpen in 2020, the Royals starting staff needs that mentor.
Pressing the brakes on signing a good vetern starter could be the initial reaction. Successful starters with service time come at a price. Plus, the Royals have a good crop of possible stars. For the Royals, though, even a short term deal for a semi expensive pitcher could change the future of the rotation.
People often forget that Brad Keller, while having pitched for 3 major league seasons now, is only a year older than Brady Singer. Keller has assumed an important role in the rotation at a young age and has become the pitcher most look to when a win is needed. He is quickly becoming the staff ace, but he needs some help to get there.
Other than veteran Danny Duffy, the Royals rotation looks to be getting younger and younger. Now is the time to guide them.
While Duffy has been around for his share of time, he hasn’t seen the success that many had hoped for. A veteran with sustained success could provide priceless lessons to the young arms like Singer and Kris Bubic, the pitchers who haven’t even come up yet, and most importatnly Brad Keller.
Soon, Keller, Singer, and Bubic could be leading the Royals. While it likely wouldn’t be in the best interest of the team to sign a veteran to a long term deal, a short one could be all that is needed to help push the young pitchers over the hump and give them the tools they need to guide the next set of pitchers to success.
The Royals have a chance to put their young pitchers on the right track, but it will likely take some veteran guidance. They should see what is available in free agency to continue improving the team.