KC Royals: Making the case, LA Dodgers free agents

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The KC Royals are searching for starting pitching. A veteran Dodger should be under consideration.

That the KC Royals need some rotation help isn’t any secret. A capable veteran would be nice, especially if he can fill a James Shields-like mentor role for the bevy of young starters who will soon dominate the rotation.

Alex Wood is worth a look. He’s a veteran—2020 was his eighth major league season and, besides his two separate stints with the Dodgers, has pitched for the Braves and Reds. He’s 53-44 with a serviceable 3.45 ERA and adequate 1.232 WHIP.

The left-hander, who’ll be 30 in January, relies primarily on a three-prong repertoire of sinker, slider and changeup; he seldom throws a fastball and more rarely a curve.

Wood has, however, suffered some injuries, including elbow issues and surgery, back issues which robbed him of his 2019 season, and shoulder inflammation that sidelined him for August this season. He pitched mostly out of the bullpen in September and finished the season with a 6.39 ERA. He also walked six in 12.2 innings, a marked departure from his typically good control (2.6 career BB9).

But Wood was excellent in two World Series appearances: he didn’t give up a run in two outings and held the Rays in check for two innings in the sixth game before LA came from behind to win the game and the Series. He struck out eight in his 6.2 postseason frames.

Woods may not be Trevor Bauer, but he’s a good pitcher Kansas City should explore.