KC Royals: Old friends abound across the major leagues

(Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /
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KC Royals, Salvador Perez
(Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /

Several former KC Royals made Opening Day rosters. Who and where are they?

Deserved or not, the KC Royals have a reputation for letting players get away. Whether Kansas City can’t compete financially, or trades them for prospects before they’re lost to free agency, the Royals lose their share of good players.

No less than 21 former Royals made other major league clubs’ 2021 Opening Day rosters. Some are stars who made valuable contributions to the franchise; others just didn’t work out.

San Diego boasts the best concentration of former Royals, the most notable of whom is Eric Hosmer, who left Kansas City after 2017 for an eight-year, $144 million contract KC couldn’t, or wouldn’t, match. Hosmer can opt out after next season, so expect much speculation that he’ll return to Kansas City. The notion is far-fetched at best.

(Through Saturday, Hosmer has two homers, six RBIs, and six hits in seven at-bats).

Also in San Diego is Wil Myers, the highly-touted prospect the Royals traded away before he saw a single big league pitch. Roundly criticized at the time because it included Myers, the 2012 offseason deal with Tampa Bay had much to do with the Royals’ return to relevance; but for the swap, James Shields and Wade Davis wouldn’t have become Royals. Eight years later, Myers’ career .254 average, and the fact he’s hit at least 20 homers only twice, ease any severe pain his departure caused.

Reliever Tim Hill is the other ex-Royal now with the Padres, who traded Ronald Bolanos and Franchy Cordero to KC last July to get him. Hill was 3-0 with a 4.17 ERA for San Diego.

Where are some of the Royals’ other old friends?