This week’s KC Royals Midweek News, Views, Rumors and Takes covers coaches, free agents, a non-tender update and more.
Some Midweek thoughts about the KC Royals while wondering whatever happened to James Shields:
Looks like coaches will return
With the scheduled start of spring training just over a month away, it appears the Royals won’t be adding any new coaches to Mike Matheny’s staff.
Bench coach Pedro Grifol’s search for managing jobs proved unsuccessful, although he’s certain to become a skipper at some point. Nothing came of Internet chatter questioning Terry Bradshaw’s prospects for continuing as hitting coach.
And although the club plans on Rusty Kuntz resuming an on-field role after he opted out of his scheduled return last season, time will tell if pandemic concerns decrease sufficiently to facilitate Kuntz coming back for the 2021 campaign.
Third baseman Maikel Franco, non-tendered by Kansas City early last month, still hasn’t found a new job. Generally slow free agent market conditions suggest Franco won’t command any premium offers, which means he could be a bargain for someone in 2021.
Unless the Royals aren’t confident they can replace Alex Gordon with an in-house candidate or via an external search, and choose to move Hunter Dozier from third to left field or Whit Merrifield from right to left, don’t look for the club to seriously consider re-signing Franco.
KC Royals free agents
Former Royals Mike Montgomery, Matt Harvey and Ian Kennedy remain on the free agent market. Although free agency hasn’t produced much yet, their continuing availability may have more to do with their perceived value than market conditions. Harvey and Kennedy had poor 2020 seasons and Montgomery was injured most of the campaign.
Potential target signs with rival
Oakland free agent outfielder Robbie Grossman, the subject of some Internet talk linking him to the Royals, signed with American League Central Division rival Detroit Tuesday. The Tigers will pay him at least $10 million over two seasons, which would have been an ill-conceived transaction for Kansas City considering its many young outfielders and Grossman’s pedestrian numbers—50 home runs and a .252 average in eight big league campaigns.
In case you missed it
Although our writers took some well-deserved time off over the holidays, they still managed to produce some interesting content. David Scharff described what appears to be the Royals’ successful approach to prospects here, Shawn Bauman wrote about some players’ Christmas doings here, and I recently compared last January’s club issues to this month’s here.
That’s all for now. We’ll be back next week with more KC Royals Midweek News, Views, Rumors and Takes. Until then, stay safe and healthy.