KC Royals: Making the case, Cardinals free agents

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

There may be help for the KC Royals among the five St. Louis free agents.

Welcome back to Kings of Kauffman’s continuing series analyzing the major league free agent market and projecting who might, or might not, fit the needs of the KC Royals. This story takes a look at the St. Louis Cardinals’ free agents.

Teams searching for help this offseason, including the KC Royals, would do well to check in on the five St. Louis Cardinal free agents. There’s a lot of talent in that fivesome, including two veteran All-Star and Gold Glove catchers (one is a future Hall of Famer), a seasoned All-Star starting pitcher, a Gold Glove-winning second baseman and a solid utility man.

What the Royals need, at a minimum, is a veteran starter to round out and mentor its emerging but inexperienced rotation and a good bat that happens to be an outfielder. The club could also use a versatile player who can allow the wonderfully versatile Whit Merrifield to settle into one position.

What Kansas City doesn’t need (at least not yet) is a second baseman, which should rule out St. Louis free agent Gold Glover Kolten Wong. As Kings of Kauffman writer Shawn Bauman recently pointed out as part of his convincing case against the Royals pursing Wong, second base is Nicky Lopez’s position to lose, which he might do if he doesn’t soon improve the Mendoza Line-threatening .201 he struggled to achieve in 2020. Wong’s bat is better than Lopez’s and might be of use to the Royals sometime in the future, but not now.

And there are, as Bauman explained, other reasons for Kansas City to cross Wong off its wish list, not the least of which are cost and his sometimes rocky relationship with KC skipper Mike Matheny when he managed the Cardinals.

But what about the other four St. Louis free agents?