For the first time since 2016, the KC Royals did not draft or have a player drafted in the Rule 5 selection traded to them.
The Rule 5 draft was over quickly and the results were good for the KC Royals. The best-case scenario actually occurred as no Royals player rumored to be of interest moved on. Seuly Matias, Brewer Hicklen, and Yefri Del Rosario are still in the organization.
The success of Brad Keller leaves us longing for finding the hidden gem in the Rule 5 draft. The reality is though that it is a long shot and takes up a spot on the KC Royals’ major league roster unless the player is offered back to the team he was drafted from.
While Burch Smith has carved out a couple of good years recently in limited games, he was awful for the Royals back in 2018. Sam McWilliams was returned to Tampa Bay without appearing in a Kansas City game and has yet to see the majors.
Stephen Woods was also returned to the Rays, the Royals traded back for him but he did not pitch for two years due to injuries and was back in the Tampa Bay organization in 2019. The Royals once again have Woods services as of November.
All this to say there is nothing wrong with passing on a Rule 5 pick. It may lead to more exciting transactions for the franchise.
Room on the 40-man roster to add players
Kansas City only has 37 players taking up spots allowing for another three individuals to be added. As noted, there is at least one outfield spot open and, depending on how sold you are on Michael Taylor, potentially two.
The addition of Carlos Santana was a nice move for a power bat but an outfielder who can either get on base consistently or hit for power – preferably a bit of both – is still needed. There are plenty of free agents abound who fill this role for the Royals.
It is also possible that the open spots could be filled by promoting one or more of the prospects waiting to make their debut in the majors. Daniel Lynch and Jackson Kowar were already notably close and the team may not be able to hold them back much longer.
With the KC Royals being active in the market already, and what a pleasant surprise that is, perhaps a trade could bring about one or more players to add to the 40-man. For the first time in years, the franchise could be part of a blockbuster deal.
While the Rule 5 draft is fun to speculate about and see what players move around, the lack of action by the Royals this year is of no concern. There are much bigger opportunities out there.