KC Royals: 40-man roster revamp happening soon

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals,
KC Royals, /

A catcher and a KC Royals infielder or two might be roster cut choices.

For two straight seasons, injuries to team backbone Salvador Perez put the KC Royals in the unenviable position of trying to replace the irreplaceable. No one in the club’s system could equal Perez’s bat, glove, arm or leadership when he went down for a time in 2018, then missed all of 2019. Cam Gallagher and Meibrys Viloria proved to be serviceable defensively, and called decent games, but neither hit.

It’s Gallagher to whom the Royals first turned each time Perez was hurt, and he’s the prime backup. That leaves Viloria vulnerable to a cut, especially after Perez’s wildly successful 2020 return (save, of course, for his nagging eye issue) which suggests the club can safely carry one extra catcher.

Viloria, unlike so many of the club’s cuttable pitchers, has no minor league options left, so the Royals can’t remove him from the 40-man but keep him by sending him to the minors unless he clears waivers. But the Royals may be comfortable exposing him to the draft—his weak bat may not attract attention.

The Royals currently list Erick Mejia as an infielder (he’s spent time at second, short and third), but he can also play in the outfield. He’s been a professional since 2012 but didn’t reach the majors until 2019, has made it into just 17 big league games, and is only 6-for-36 (.167). His speed (154 steals in the minors) may keep him in the KC picture, but the Royals’ major and minor league infields and outfields are both crowded.

Like Mejia, Ryan McBroom, acquired from the Yankees in 2019, is an infielder (first base) who also spends time in the outfield. Locked in a 2020 contest for first with Ryan O’Hearn until Hunter Dozier displaced them both late in the season, McBroom has options and could be moved off the 40-man before the homegrown O’Hearn, who has more power.