KC Royals: Making the case, Diamondbacks free agents

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

The KC Royals might find a helpful starting pitcher and, if they want to take a risk, an outfielder among Arizona’s’ 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. Today, we take a look at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ free agents.

By now, everyone knows the KC Royals need a veteran starting pitcher and a consistent outfield bat. Those are their biggest holes to fill headed into 2021.

Everyone also knows the Royals aren’t likely to plug those voids by spending lavishly on free agents. With rare and largely unsuccessful exceptions, the club avoids the kind of expensive deals required to sign top-line pitchers like Trevor Bauer, and outfielders like George Springer, who head this offseason’s free agent market. And Kansas City’s coffers might not stand such financial stress, especially after a season without paying customers.

So where could the frugal Royals search for an affordable starter and outfielder? Arizona comes to mind because the Diamondbacks have some free agents, including a former Royal, who won’t command financially difficult deals.

First among possible Arizona bargains is Edwin Jackson. Calling him an Arizona free agent might be a bit of a misnomer because the team released him last May, so he hasn’t played since 2019; despite this distinction, Jackson is at least technically a D-back free agent.

Jackson spent a few seasons as a reliver, but is predominantly a starter. He’s a right-hander, a commodity with which the Royals’ rotation and bullpen are overstocked and, at age 37, probably doesn’t have a lot left and hasn’t pitched well since his 6-3, 3.33 ERA 2018 Oakland campaign. Jackson is also the most well-traveled journeyman major leaguer ever—he’s played for a record 14 teams during his 17-season career. But Kansas City shouldn’t and won’t be his 15th stop.

But there are possibilities among Diamondback free agents.