KC Royals: Making the case, Chicago White Sox free agents
The KC Royals are interested in some pitching, but they need to ensure they get a starter they can count on.
Clayton Richard has been around baseball for a while. He started with the White Sox when they drafted him in 2005 and has moved around baseball since, ending up with the Sox again in 2020. He has seen some decent success at times during his career and has had 2 seasons with over 200 innings, but he’s one the Royals should pass on.
The Sox signed him in August but he never saw any major league innings in 2020. Richard underwent surgery in 2014 causing him to miss the season, and while he did see some small success following that, there is still question about his ability.
Another starter the Sox have to offer is Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez did see 31.2 innings in 2020, seeing time in 12 games and making 4 starts. He held an ERA of 4.83 and struggled with walks.
Gonzalez is a 2 time All-Star, and has finished 3rd and 6th in Cy Young voting during his career. Still, he might not be the best option for the Royals. Both Gonzalez and Richard could be interesting signings on minor league deals for the Royals as they have decent upsides if everything clicks and are fairly low risk, but they just don’t fit the trend in Kansas City.
The Royals are moving forward with their young pitchers. If a starter is going to be brought in, it needs to be someone who can be trusted to lead the young arms, not one that will have to be replaced by one of them.
Another pass up is Edwin Encarnacion. Encarnacion is primarily a designated hitter, and that spot is already filled in Kansas City. Plus, he has seen a decline over his last few seasons. He will be 38 when entering the 2021 season and while he does come with a decent resume for smashing the ball into the stands, he just isn’t something the Royals need.