KC Royals: Making the case, Oakland A’s free agents
Three pitchers and an outfielder are Oakland free agents who shouldn’t make it onto the KC Royals’ radar.
The final four Oakland free agents—Mike Fiers, Yusmeiro Petit, T.J. McFarland and Robbie Grossman—aren’t players Kansas City needs to consider.
Fiers’ 10 big league seasons encompass 75 wins, a World Series title, a 15-4 campaign with the AL West runners-up A’s in 2019 and a 6-3 season with Oakland as it won the West this year. At 35 (36 in June), he can still pitch, but he’s probably not the James Shields-type veteran hurler the Royals need to mentor their younger starters.
Petit will beat Fiers to 36 late this month and, although he led the American League in appearances (80) in 2019 and sported an excellent 1.66 ERA (252 ERA+) this season, he posted a so-so 4.11 FIP. Like Fiers, Petit can hold his own or better, but there isn’t a spot in the Royals’ young, improved and crowded bullpen for an aging reliever who’s not an accomplished starter.
T.J. McFarland is another bullpen piece for whom the KC Royals would have to create space. McFarland has talent, but tends to give up too many runs for a reliever: he has an eight-year 4.08 ERA and 4.69 RA9.
Finally, there’s Robbie Grossman, Oakland’s versatile outfielder whose eight 2020 home runs extrapolates to 21.6 for a 162-game campaign, a projection that exceeds his career-high 11 home runs in 2016 with Minnesota. But with Whit Merrifield, Edward Olivares, Franchy Cordero, Nick Heath, Khalil Lee, and Kyle Isbel (among others), another outfielder is almost the last thing the Royals need…unless, of course, they’re willing to spring for a higher caliber free agent such as George Springer, Marcell Ozuna, or Jackie Bradley Jr.
The Oakland A’s have several good free agents. But none fit the Royals’ immediate needs.