The KC Royals were uncharacteristically busy last offseason. They signed Michael A. Taylor a year ago Tuesday, Mike Minor the next day, and Carlos Santana less than a week later. By the end of December, Greg Holland had re-signed and Ervin Santana became a Royal for the second time. Wade Davis returned in January, and the club signed Hanser Alberto and traded for Andrew Benintendi before spring camp opened.
Now, though, the Royals are back to being the Royals. All is quiet at Kauffman Stadium—while the transaction world explodes around them, the Royals shows no obvious signs of making any major moves to improve through free agency or trades. But slow baseball winters are the norm for this club—Kansas City is a perennially conservative franchise seemingly content to win only occasionally because it can’t, or won’t, spend the kind of money required to win regularly.
Things may not change much, at least not in the near future. New President of Baseball Operations Dayton Moore is still in charge of the baseball side of the business; yes, he’s won two pennants and a World Series, but the Royals have had winning seasons only three times since he became General Manager in mid-2006. And looming on the horizon are an almost certain work stoppage and transaction freeze which will delay indefinitely any moves the Royals might be contemplating. That curtain could drop at Midnight Wednesday absent a new labor agreement.
There are three things the Royals can do before then to improve the club and show fans they mean business in 2022.