What final grades do the KC Royals deserve for their aggressiveness this winter?
There was no flurry of trades, no key contract extensions, no Fernando Tatis-type blockbuster signings. But the KC Royals, usually boring in the winter, parlayed an uncharacteristic aggressiveness into moves that made them the surprise of this offseason.
Something was definitely different. Typically quiet at first, and as November faded, the Royals burst into action by bringing back pitcher Mike Minor and welcoming center fielder Michael A. Taylor, then cut popular third baseman Maikel Franco just days later. The rapid-fire moves, which would have equaled some previous winters’ entire efforts, signaled change.
Their attention caught by the sudden activity, fans didn’t have to wait long for General Manager Dayton Moore’s next bold move: within a week, he surprisingly signed Cleveland free agent first baseman Carlos Santana to a two-year deal that should finally end the long search for Eric Hosmer’s replacement.
Those deals immediately improved the Royals, but Moore wasn’t done. He re-signed closer Greg Holland, brought back pitchers Ervin Santana and Wade Davis, and grabbed up former Baltimore second baseman Hanser Alberto. And he finally found the lefthanded bat he so badly wanted by pulling the trigger on the big trade that brought Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City.
The Royals had already shown a new side when we gave them good mid-offseason grades a few weeks ago. Now that spring training has ended baseball’s winter, what kind of final marks does the franchise deserve?
For their surprising and refreshing assertiveness, the Royals merit an “A.” Let’s see what their other winter grades look like.