KC Royals: Making the case, 9 Rangers free agents

(Photo by John Williamson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Williamson/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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KC Royals
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The KC Royals might find a versatile addition among the remaining Ranger free agents.

Before 2019, Danny Santana hadn’t made much noise in his five-year career. He hit .319 as a rookie in 2014, but successive seasons of .215, .240, .202, and .171, and 13 total homers, provided little promise of anything more than a baseball life spent on the bench.

Proving that notion wrong, Santana exploded at the plate in 2019, his first Ranger season after stops in Minnesota and Atlanta. Santana punished American League pitchers with 23 doubles, 28 homers, 81 RBIs and a .283 average in 130 games. But his production dropped last year when an arm injury stole all but 15 games of his season.

Santana has been around the diamond—he’s done everything in the big leagues but pitch and catch—and because he switch hits, he might be the lefty power bat the KC Royals want. Versatility aside, though, the 30-year old doesn’t have the established punch the club needs.

Also versatile are Andrew Romine and Derek Dietrich; unlike Santana, Romine has played every position at least once and Dietrich has appeared at first, second and third bases and in right and left fields. Neither, though, hits particularly well. Romine has no power and a 10-year .235/.291/.301 slash, while Dietrich has some power (he hit 48 of his 84 homers from 2017-19) but a .245 average. Kansas City already has Whit Merrifield, the most productive versatile player in the majors, and Kelvin Gutierrez deserves a shot at the utility infielder spot.