KC Royals: Old friends abound across the major leagues

(Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /
4 of 4
KC Royals, Jorge Lopez
(Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) /

Several other ex-KC Royals are playing for different teams this season.

Although Jorge Lopez flirted seriously with a perfect game in 2018 (he lost it in the ninth), and despite his occasionally excellent stuff, he never found his way in Kansas City. Whether he pitched out of the rotation or the bullpen, he was good for a game or two, then bad for a few, then good again, creating a dilemma he and the club couldn’t solve. Lopez finished 6-13 with a 6.42 ERA in parts of three seasons.

KC traded him to Baltimore after just one appearance last season; he went 2-2 with a 6.34 ERA in 38.1 innings, but is expected to be in the Orioles’ rotation this year.

Related Story. Lopez is gone, but mystery remains. light

Two pitchers with disappointing stays in Kansas City have found other work.

Ian Kennedy never lived up to the $70 million the Royals decided he was worth for five seasons. He signed the deal in 2016 and had his best KC campaign (11-11, 3.68) that year before going 11-26 over the next four seasons. Kansas City made him a reliever in 2019 and he saved 30 games, but he pitched badly last season, immediately lost his closer’s job, and finished 0-2 with an unacceptable 9.00 ERA.

A free agent when the campaign ended, Kennedy now pitches for Texas.

The Matt Harvey Experiment failed in Kansas City last season. He lost three of the seven games he appeared in and gave up 15 runs and walked five in 11.2 innings. If the Royals made any effort to sign him in the offseason, they kept it quiet.

Harvey caught on with the Orioles and seems to have made their rotation. He started Saturday against Boston, giving up two runs on six hits with four strikeouts in 4.2 no-decision innings.

A pair of position players never quite panned out for the KC Royals.

The Royals hoped Billy Hamilton would solve their center field problem (the same one they now hope Michael A. Taylor will solve) when Hamilton signed a one-year deal with the club in December 2018. But Hamilton wasn’t the solution—his paltry .211 average moved the Royals to waive him in August.

Hamilton now plays for the White Sox.

Like Hamilton, KC signed Chris Owings for the 2019 campaign hoping he could help avoid a second straight 100-loss season. And like Hamilton, Owings didn’t last the year—the Royals released him and his .133 average in June.

Owings may have found a more permanent home in Colorado, where he’s starting his second season.

A number of other former Kansas City players are now playing elsewhere.

Rounding out other notable ex-Royals now playing for other major league teams are Franchy Cordero (Boston), Martin Maldonado (Houston), Sean Manaea (who played in the organization but didn’t make it to Kansas City) and Jake Diekman (Oakland), Trevor Cahill (Pittsburgh), and Scott Alexander (Dodgers).

Next. So many good things in second KC win. dark

Several Royals have left Kansas City under various circumstances in the last few years. Today, many are playing for other big league clubs.