KC Royals: Is there any free agent help in Colorado?

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

A former Royal and a relief pitcher round out Colorado’s free agents.

The mere mention of Chris Owings’ name around Kansas City surely draws more negative than positive reactions. Royals fans probably remember Owings not as a serviceable Arizona infielder whose skills moved KC to sign him before the 2019 season, or the decent utility man he’s been for the Rockies for the past two years; instead, mentioning Owings can trigger bad memories of the short time he spent with the Royals in 2019.

Owings slashed an abominable .133/.193/.222 in 40 games before the club released him in early June. Boston picked him up a couple of weeks later; he hit .156 in 26 games, then signed with Colorado after the season.

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Since arriving in Colorado, Owings has slashed .298/.372/.536 and done everything for the Rockies but catch, pitch, and play first base. The sample size isn’t that big—38 games—but the performance is reminiscent of how much better Owings was as a Diamondback (.250/.291/.378) than as a Royal and, combined with his six Arizona seasons, suggests Owings’ 2019 was an outlier, perhaps even an awful fluke.

But don’t expect Kansas City to make a play for him. The Royals have much versatility of their own with Whit Merrifield, and it looks like Adalberto Mondesi may move into a super-utility role next season. Even Owings at his best would add little.

Pitcher Jhoulys Chacín is Colorado’s other free agent. A 13-year big league veteran, 2021 marked his first season as a reliever only—he came out of the bullpen 46 times and went 3-2 with a 4.34 ERA, a mark curiously tempered by an unusually low Coors Field 2.87.

But he’ll be 34 in January. Kansas City has younger pitchers with more experience as relievers. The Royals don’t need to pursue Chacín.

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The KC Royals need some help. Colorado’s free agents probably won’t provide it.