KC Royals Spring Training: 3 potential game changers

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

A trio of possible spring occurrences could alter things for the KC Royals.

The KC Royals, a proud franchise painfully frustrated by uncertainty at several positions for three straight seasons, appear unusually stable as full squad spring workouts begin today. No battles for starting jobs exist among the club’s position players.

A surprise development here and there, however, could improve or jeopardize the best laid plans of General Manager Dayton Moore, who spent the winter acquiring new pieces, and moving around incumbent Royals, to bring an end to the Kansas City rebuild and move his club closer to winning.

Take, for example, the prospect of one more player transaction. Is there another free agent Moore might sign, or a trade he might make, to fill an existing or potential hole? For a team that uncharacteristically made as many offseason moves as the Royals did before last week’s opening of spring camp, another deal would be somewhat surprising.

If something does happen, look for it to be in the starting rotation which, assuming the usual five-man set-up, appears set with Brad Keller, Danny Duffy, Brady Singer, Mike Minor and Kris Bubic. There are thoughts, though, of a six-man rota, and whether Duffy moves to the bullpen (or is traded during the last year of his contract) or Bubic heads to Triple A for a bit more experience, remain open questions. The club may want to obtain insurance against either occurrence.

Still stranded on the free agent market is former Royal Jake Odorizzi, whose big league performance after being traded in 2012 for James Shields and Wade Davis includes a 15-7, 3.51 ERA season for the Twins two years ago, and three other double-digit victory campaigns. Odorizzi may be asking for too much money or too long a contract, but might settle for less of each to pitch in 2021.

Getting anther starter at this point would be a surprise, but not necessarily unwise. What other surprises might be in store?