Can the KC Royals use a St. Louis starter who’s never pitched anywhere else and a good utility man?
Adam Wainwright is the quintessential one-team pitcher, a dedicated veteran hurler who’s spent the whole of his 15-year big league career in St. Louis. It’s hard to see him leaving the Cardinals, but baseball is a business and another team might convince the three-time National League All-Star who’s twice won 20 games, and came close with 19 wins in two other seasons, that the green is greater and greener in their park.
Could that club be the Royals? Wainwright is what they need, a veteran starter with a championship pedigree who can win a few games and provide valuable leadership and mentoring to a young rotation that needs someone of Wainwright’s caliber. His 5-3, 3.15 ERA, and two complete games in 2020 prove he can still pitch, even at age 39. He also averaged almost seven innings in his 10 starts in 2020, a trait that would have overjoyed the KC Royals.
Kansas City might be able to convince Wainwright that life is just as good on the other side of Missouri and persuade him to add to his 167 career victories with the Royals. But Wainwright doesn’t have much major league time left and may want to pitch out his career in St. Louis. Nevertheless, Dayton Moore ought to get his number and give him a call.
Brad Miller may not be Whit Merrifield, but he might be the next best thing for the KC Royals. Miller, like Kansas City’s beloved Merrifield, can and does play almost everywhere—he’s put time in at first base, second and shortstop, and in left, center and right fields during his eight-year big league career.
Although he hit 30 homers and drove in 81 runs in 2016 with Tampa Bay and still has some pop, his .240/.316/.421 career slash doesn’t measure up to Merrifield’s .295/.342/.444, but his real value to the Royals would be his versatility, not his bat. He’d give manager Mike Matheny someone to plug in almost anywhere on the field and help provide Merrifield the opportunity to stay in one place for a while. And he’d probably be affordable—the Cards had him on a $2 million deal last year (before proration).
Miller is worth a look.
The KC Royals really can’t use Cardinal free agents Yadier Molina, Matt Wieters or Kolten Wong, but they should consider Adam Wainwright and Brad Miller.