KC Royals: 3 reasons not to extend Adalberto Mondesi

(Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)
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KC Royals, Adalberto Mondesi
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Injuries complicate Mondesi’s prospects for a long-term KC Royals deal

Another reason not to extend Mondesi is his injury history. He missed Opening Day in 2018 after right shoulder impingement forced him to the IL. A June 2019 groin injury put him back on the IL, and a left shoulder subluxation sidelined him for over 40 days later in the season.

The Royals returned Mondesi to the lineup Sept. 1, but with significant restrictions—the club directed him not to dive for balls or into bases, an impractical order given Mondesi’s aggressive defense and daring base stealing. The inevitable happened Sept. 22 when Mondesi reinjured his shoulder in a predictable dive for a ground ball. The play ended his season, and required offseason surgery and several months of rehabilitation.

Hopefully, the Royals learned a lesson. Playing Mondesi with only a month left in a 103-loss season—especially with such unrealistic limitations—was foreseeably unwise and could have cost club and player far more than the few games Mondesi missed.

Although he missed only one game last season, 102 weren’t played; given his pre-2020 history, and his willingness to sacrifice immediate safety to make big plays, it’s reasonable to think Mondesi would have injured himself at some point.

But the injury concerns don’t end there. A foot issue delayed Mondesi’s 2021 Cactus League debut by several games, and his oblique injury will, according to mlb.com KC beat writer Anne Rogers, cost him at least a 10-day stay on the IL, if not more:

These injuries should give the Royals pause. Because extensions are typically guaranteed, they should carefully and deliberately weigh Mondesi’s history against any thoughts of inking an immediate long-term deal with him, and proceed cautiously. Principal owner John Sherman and General Manager Dayton Moore owe it to the franchise and its investors not to commit millions upon millions of dollars to a player whose ability to play full, or close to full, seasons is in serious question. Time is not of the essence with Mondesi; KC should first see how 2021 and 2022 go.

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Eventually, the KC Royals will probably give Adalberto Mondesi a lucrative long-term contract. For many reasons, however, now is not the time.