While this could be interpreted in many ways, the general manager indicates the KC Royals may have more financial flexibility than in years past.
In a recent interview, Dayton Moore stated that CEO and chairman John Sherman is willing to make personnel decisions that help the team win now. While their preference is to build the club from within, there could be opportunities to land a free agent or two who would be a good fit for the KC Royals’ atmosphere.
"“I’m not really concerned about what the payroll is,” Moore said. “I’m just more concerned about who the players are and do they make sense for our team at this particular time. I’m confident that if there’s a player or two out there that fit with this group, with this timeline, we’ll be able to be aggressive and try to get them here in Kansas City.” – bakersfield.com"
While that is important for Royals fans to hear it does not necessarily mean they will make a huge signing – but at least the potential is there. This is news Kansas City supporters are not used to. Even during the playoff years of 2014 and 2015, the team was never in contention for major free agents.
The biggest move they made outside of trading during that period was signing Ian Kennedy while attempting to defend their World Series title in 2016. While he turned in a decent year that season, he struggled the next two campaigns before having his historic 2019 conversion to a closer. But his large contract prevented the team from moving him for a prospect or two.
One factor to consider when hearing the Royals might crack open the dusty wallet is players currently on the team who could be in line for more money. Jorge Soler will head into 2021 with an $8 million salary and if regains his ’19 form heading into an unrestricted free agent (UFA) year big bucks are needed to hold onto him.
Adalberto Mondesi could be due bigger arbitration dollars and he is only three years away from UFA territory. Same with Hunter Dozier although he would 32 years old and may not command as much as Mondesi. And if the younger players really shine they may want to tie them up before they can become free agents meaning more money spent in the next few seasons.
While you can read many different things into this revelation, there is at least a hope that the KC Royals could be competitive in landing a big player or two. And there are a few gaps that would be nice to fill, especially in the outfield. It will be an exciting hot stove season if Kansas City is part of the conversation.
The Kings of Kauffman crew are busy writing on the free agents from all the teams around Major League Baseball, be sure and check out all the potential good fits for the Royals.