The KC Royals have made more noise than usual this offseason, and it looks like the pieces are starting to fall together for 2021.
It’s not often during the offseason that KC Royals fans have a lot to talk about, especially this early. Luckily, there has been a change in the atmosphere in Kansas City and the new ownership group is apparently open to spending some more money to get this team back on track.
While Kansas City has had a flurry of news lately between avoiding arbitration, non-tendering players, and signing a few free agents, most notably Mike Minor, they again turned heads when it was announced today, December 8th, that a deal had been reached with first baseman Carlos Santana.
The Royals have been looking for a first baseman and they wanted to improve their lineup and specifically help their on-base percentage. With the Santana signing, Kansas City checked multiple boxes.
Santana is a career .248 hitter but has a career OBP of .366 and slugging of .446. His lowest numbers actually came during this past 2020 season where he slashed .199/.349/.350. He struggled at the plate but still managed to lead the league in walks, giving him an OBP that would be good enough for second best among the Royals 2020 main lineup.
Santana has shown consistency and patience at the plate, allowing him to keep his OBP high and that is exactly what Kansas City needs. While 2020 wasn’t his best year, there is no better place for him to find more success than at Kauffman, a place where he has beat up on the Royals for years.
The Santana signing by Kansas City has taken some by surprise as the team typically stays quiet and makes a few small name acquisitions. If looking at the spotrac free agent tracker, though, the Royals have two singings at the top, both for 2 years and for $17.5 and $18 million each.
It’s also interesting to note the MLB offseason spending chart at spotrac. The Royals are currently highest on the graphic that takes into account players re-signed and extended, free agents, and those who avoided arbitration.
While there is a lot of time left in the offseason and more teams will start to make moves, the Royals have set the mood by striking quick, something completely unexpected from Kansas City.
There may also still be some more room for the Royals to keep shopping a little while longer. A bullpen arm or two to supplement the young core could be on the table, and another well-established outfielder could find his way to Kansas City if the right deal can be reached.
When the 2020 season ended, fans were unsure of where the Royals would stand in 2021 and what this new ownership group would be like during the offseason. So far, things are looking to have changed, and the excitement in Kansas City is building.
The Royals have signed first baseman Carlos Santana to a 2-year contract.