Most of the Yankee free agents are too expensive or players the KC Royals don’t need, but there may be some help in the group for Kansas City.
When it comes to this year’s flock of 11 New York Yankee free agents, let’s get right to the bottom line. Several will be far too expensive for the KC Royals to even think about, much less sign. Kansas City isn’t breaking the bank, for example, to sign DJ LeMahieu, although his three All-Star selections, three Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers and 24.6 career WAR would definitely play well in Kauffman Stadium and allow the club to stop fretting about Nicky Lopez’s maddeningly weak bat.
Likewise, Masahiro Tanaka, a reliable right-handed starter with near-pinpoint control and a 1.130 career WHIP, won’t come cheap enough for the small-market Royals.
Then there are the Yanks who are aging or can’t fill a Royal need. Brett Gardner is too old (38 in August) for Kansas City and will probably retire before leaving Yankee Stadium. J.A. Happ offers the Royals the chance to pick up a proven southpaw starter, and could be the seasoned mentor the rotation needs, but at 38 he may be too seasoned.
Jordy Mercer is a good shortstop, but at 34 he’s nine years older than Adalberto Mondesi, who isn’t moving from short for anyone but Bobby Witt Jr.—and it’s probably Witt who’ll end up finding another position to play when he arrives in Kansas City.
So, are there any New York free agents who might suit the Royals needs and fit their budget? A starter and a utility-capable player are the best possibilities. Let’s take a closer look.