With more offseason roster work ahead of them, can the KC Royals find any help from Washington’s free agents?
The KC Royals, a team typically content to avoid big splash offseason transactions, have conspicuously traveled a different path this winter. The re-signing of reliever Greg Holland is, thanks to his rejuvenating 2020 campaign, bigger news than it was last year; the generally unanticipated return of pitcher Mike Minor solidifies the rotation; and bringing aboard first baseman Carlos Santana adds more sorely needed middle-of-the-order power.
Kansas City also may have satisfied its need for a fleet, slick-fielding centerfielder with the signing of Washington free agent outfielder Michael A. Taylor, whose bat remains questionable but whose glove answers important defensive questions. Now apparently in search of a solid lefthanded hitter (and hopefully a southpaw reliever and a backup catching upgrade), could another dip into the pool of Washington free agents help?
The best of the lefthanded swinging players in the Nationals’ bunch is already off the table. Outfielder Adam Eaton recently joined the White Sox, a dangerous team made more so in recent weeks with the additions of starter Lance Lynn, Eaton and Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa.
Also off the KC Royals’ table should be first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, a Nats’ lineup fixture and power source for 15 years who remains on the market; at 36 he may be good for another season or two, but Kansas City wisely solved first base with Santana. Another 15-year veteran the Royals don’t need to take a look at is Anibal Sanchez—its flock of talented young righthanded starters means the club won’t benefit from adding a hurler who’s entering his age-37 season.
Other Washington free agents who’ve now signed—utility man Josh Harrison, and righty relievers Javy Guerra and Aaron Barrett, really wouldn’t have filled any Royals’ needs.
Some of the remaining Nationals free agents, however, might warrant a look.