KC Royals News: It’s time to forget the new lefty bat
The KC Royals haven’t found a new lefthanded hitter. The search needs to end.
Some KC Royals midweek musings while wondering how soon we’ll know if Wade Davis can still pitch:
With their quest for a lefty bat unfulfilled, the KC Royals should look inward
As of late Tuesday, Kansas City’s well-publicized hunt for a new lefthanded bat—preferably one with power—remained unsuccessful. Save for Boston’s Jackie Bradley Jr., the best of the lefty hitting free agent outfielders (left is the logical place for a new bat) are off the market. Eddie Rosario, Michael Brantley, and Joc Pederson have all signed, as has switch hitting Jurickson Profar. But for his probable contract requirements, Bradley might be a solution; although he has no power, former Royal Jon Jay might otherwise fit, and KC could look at ex-Royal Brian Goodwin.
And of the two righties who can blister righthanded pitching, Marcell Ozuna recently re-signed with Atlanta and the Royals don’t seem to be at all interested in Yasiel Puig.
Brad Miller, however, a St. Louis free agent with some established power, may be the cream of the available and realistic leftover crop. His improved ability to get on base the past couple of seasons (OBPs of .331 in 2019 and .357 last year) gives the Royals something to think about, but he hasn’t been an everyday player since 2016. (Kansas City may have to compete with the Phillies if they want him).
Now, with the market so thin, General Manager Dayton Moore needs to shut down his search and rely on what he has. Franchy Cordero has some power; although Nick Heath and Khalil Lee really don’t, they have the speed and good defense the club traditionally values more than raw power. Ryan O’Hearn, no longer in the picture at first base but possessed of some power, has dabbled in the outfield in the majors and minors, and might benefit from a shot at something new.
Unless a big hitter comes along quickly, the Royals need to look in their own backyard. The power they want may not be there, but this club has never lived or died on power.
No good fortune yet for the KC Royals’ quintet of big-name free agents
Although the market is quickly picking up, especially for mid-to-lower tier targets, the five best known free agents who spent time with the Royals last season remain jobless. As of the end of business Tuesday (which, considering the recent flurry of post-5 p.m. signings, can mean midnight) pitchers Ian Kennedy, Matt Harvey and Mike Montgomery, and third baseman Maikel Franco, hadn’t signed with anyone.
The lack of audible chatter about them suggests their prospects aren’t good. That should be especially true with the Royals—Kennedy had a bad 2020 in Kansas City, Harvey was a Royal disaster, and the Mike Minor signing left no room for Montgomery. And with Bobby Witt Jr.’s major league debut just around the corner and third base his likely destination, Kansas City may have enough trouble finding current third baseman Hunter Dozier a place to play.
Then there’s Trevor Rosenthal, whose continuing presence on the market is surprising because he was so outstanding for the Royals and Padres last season. Perhaps he’s asking too much, or suitors are offering too little. Of the five, though, he’s the most likely to sign soon.
In case you missed it: Rerunning some recent Kings of Kauffman offerings
Here are three of our stories from the past week: Shawn Bauman proposed a trade, David Scharff spoke out about having the “extra inning runner” rule for a second consecutive season, and I suggested this spring training may be it for two Royals.
That’s it for now. We’ll be back next Wednesday with more KC Royals midweek news. Until then, stay safe and healthy.