KC Royals Midweek News, Views, Rumors and Takes
The KC Royals are signing free agents, deciding who to tender and who not to tender, and hopefully contemplating a trade or two.
Some KC Royals Wednesday brainstorming while happily realizing spring training is less than three months away:
Not to worry if you were expecting KC Royals Midweek Musings in this space today—we’ve changed the title of this weekly series and tweaked the appearance a bit, but concept and content focus remain the same.
Reminder: KC Royals face major deadline tonight.
Like all other big league teams, the Royals have until 8 p.m. ET tonight to tender contracts to players on their 40-man roster with less than six years of major league service time. Non-tendered players immediately become free agents; here’s much more on the situation, including some Royals who may not receive offers.
Minor is probably a good move for the KC Royals.
Folks with whom I chew the baseball fat wondered if General Manager Dayton Moore, principal owner John Sherman, and the Royals would check in on Trevor Williams when, after the Pirates designated him for assignment several days ago, he opted for free agency. Williams is a starting pitcher, and it just so happens Kansas City was in search of one, which provided the perfect platform for speculation.
Fortunately, nothing in the public domain suggested the Royals were interested in Williams, whose 14-10 season with the Pirates in 2018 remains his primary claim to notoriety—he’s 17-27 in his other four campaigns. Kansas City needed better than that and got it when the club brought Mike Minor back.
Minor makes sense for the Royals: he’s a reliable rotation piece (71-66 with a 3.98 ERA in nine seasons) and adds a second seasoned veteran to the team’s starting staff (the other is Danny Duffy).
While most offseason observers are focused on free agency and contract tenders, expect the trade market to pick up. Each team’s roster picture will be clear after the tender deadline passes tonight, and some clubs will openly begin shopping players.
As far as Kansas City is concerned, speculation may center on Duffy—2021 marks the final year of his contract and the club may move him if they find interest for a lefty starter who may now be better suited for relief work. A Duffy deal, though, is more likely to occur near next season’s trade deadline unless someone offers excellent value now, or the Royals believe waiting until July is too risky. Duffy won’t have much value then if he isn’t performing well.
The team has a few players they could be willing to deal now, but Dayton Moore may stand pat until he determines whether the Royals can afford to reunite with free agents Trevor Rosenthal or Greg Holland. Other clubs will, of course, ask about Kansas City’s superb array of young pitching prospects, but the Royals aren’t about to move any of them without a monumental return. Look for them to deal one of their many outfielders first.
In case you missed it.
We’ve been pretty busy lately at Kings of Kauffman. If you haven’t read them yet, here are a few of our recent stories.
David Scharff focused on potential personnel moves, writing that Jorge Soler’s name could come up in trade talks, Dayton Moore may take a more aggressive approach to roster adjustments, and a slow free agent market could be good for the Royals.
Shawn Bauman, our site’s go-to writer for all things minor leagues, continued his weekly farm system series with a story about affiliations and minor leaguers added to the Royals’ 40-man roster, and another with more details on possible changes to the minor leagues. He also introduced new pitching acquisition Angel Zerpa.
I took a look back at former KC reliever Gene Garber, urged the Royals to make Kelvin Gutierrez their utility infielder, and wondered whether the team is giving Richard Lovelady enough of a chance.
That’s all for this week. We’ll be back next week with more KC Royals Midweek News, Views, Rumors and Takes. Until then, stay safe and healthy.