The KC Royals, hopefully looking for an outfielder with proven power and a backup catching upgrade, could find help among Philadelphia’s free agents.
The 2020 Philadelphia Phillies proved for the second straight season that having one of the game’s best players doesn’t guarantee championships. The Phils, a team that hasn’t seen the postseason since 2011, obtained Bryce Harper via free agency two years ago but, like the Angels with Mike Trout, reaffirmed that one player does not a champion make. Philadelphia finished fourth in the National League East in Harper’s first season and third in 2020.
Now, two seasons after bringing Harper aboard, Philadelphia is a team in major flux. Dave Dombrowski, the successful but controversial architect of past World Series champions in Miami and Boston, took over the club’s baseball operations last week with the ominous clouds of free agency hanging overhead.
The Phillies have a daunting 18 free agents; hiring Dombrowski means the club must be willing to take the kind of risks and spend the kind of money Dombrowski likes to take and spend. The Phillies will need to do both if the more significant players among those18 free agents choose to leave for more certain environs.
The KC Royals, a club also in transition, could be looking at one or more of those many free agents. The top two, however, will cost more than the Royals are probably willing to pay; even if they were less expensive, they’d be unlikely candidates to join Kansas City. Shortstop Didi Gregorius and catcher J.T. Realmuto are among the most coveted players still on the developing market and will be expensive, but Kansas City already has Adalberto Mondesi at short and the team isn’t about to displace Salvador Perez behind the plate.
There may be others, however, that might be worth a Royal look. Let’s check in on them.