The KC Royals love defense, and they love outfielders. That’s why it’s no surprise that they still have a full house when it comes to the Kauffman outfield.
Soon, the KC Royals are going to have start deciding who they want to pursue during the offseason, if they are going to pursue anyone that is. The Royals are not typically big spenders on the free agent market so there is no telling what they will do.
While there are some obvious holes that need to be filled, there is still not much to go on as far as how aggressive the new ownership will be when it comes to signing players. There is also the possibility that the shortened 2020 season could cause the market to suffer due to a decrease in revenue during fanless games.
Still, the Royals could always surprise fans and grab a bigger name to help with the offensive woes they encountered in 2020. Where on the field they could fit the upgrade, though, could be a bigger question.
The infield seems fairly set with Adalberto Mondesi and Nicky Lopez likely getting continued looks up the middle, Maikel Franco making his case to stay at third, and a probable move for Hunter Dozier to first base.
Some might turn to the outfield to add a bat. If Dozier does move to first his outfield spot becomes available and Alex Gordon will not be back with the team. There seem to be some openings. As usual, though, the Royals outfield may not be as empty as it looks.
It may be the most likely spot to fit in a free agent, but the thought may not even cross the minds of those in the organization.
Whit Merrifield is still in the outfield somewhere. While he is associated with center, a spot in one of the corners may be a better fit. There is also Jorge Soler, and while he doesn’t take up many innings in the outfield, he will likely see at least a few.
Then, the Royals have Bubba Starling, Franchy Cordero, Edward Olivares, and Nick Heath who all saw time there in 2020, plus a pair of outfield prospects who are just about ready in Khalil Lee and Kyle Isbel.
The fact is, even with one veteran retiring, one player possibly moving around, and the trading of Brett Phillips, the Royals still find themselves with a mass of outfielders and only a couple of open spots.
There is sure to be some movement over the offseason and while the chance of picking up a bat is good, it should be interesting to see if the Royals add to the group of talented outfield possibilities or if they go another route.
The Royals showed in 2020 that they weren’t afraid to use young players and give them a chance. While a big free agent would be a nice change, the Royals might have better luck seeing what they have and using their money elsewhere.
Who would you like to see the Royals put in the outfield for 2021? Let us know in the comments.