KC Royals: Grading the team’s offseason additions

(Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /
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KC Royals, Hanser Alberto
(Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports) /

A former Oriole and a returning pitcher get B’s for their KC Royals season.

Kansas City’s offseason needs were no secret. With Alex Gordon gone and Nicky Lopez’s bat still soft, the Royals required a new lefthanded hitter. Solidifying an inconsistent pitching staff was another priority, and the outfield was unstable.

But with only a couple of weeks to go before spring training, the club signed a righthanded hitting infielder. The surprise move paid off. Former Baltimore second baseman Hanser Alberto made his mark as a valuable utility man—he played third, second, and shortstop, DH’d 10 times, and pitched once. His versatility was just what the Royals needed considering Adalberto Mondesi’s almost season-long absence and Mike Matheny’s decision to frequently deploy Hunter Dozier in the outfield.

And Baltimore’s former regular second baseman hit .270, a nice mark for a role player.

He deserves a solid B.

Related Story. Hanser Alberto is a good man to have. light

Ervin Santana, another surprise winter acquisition, also gets a B.

A spot in the rotation seemed far-fetched for former Royal Santana, especially because the club had already added Minor, Santana hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2019 (and then only three times), and his age (38) didn’t seem to fit the KC Royals’ gradual move toward youth.

So, his almost complete lack of experience out of the bullpen notwithstanding—he’d started all but three of his 387 major league games—KC turned Santana into a reliever and, although the numbers aren’t stellar (2-2, 4.68 ERA in 38 appearances), he took well to a job he’d never really performed. Santana ate innings when the Royals needed it most, pitched nicely in long relief, and, as Mike Matheny told mlb.com KC beat writer Anne Rogers in late August, helped the younger pitchers and set an example.