A solid free agent signing could be more than symbolic for the KC Royals.
With few exceptions, Kansas City eschews spending lavishly on the free agent market (or anywhere else for that matter). Instead, and sometimes to a fault, the Royals prefer to develop from within, but keeping its checkbook closed to most high-dollar free agents deprives the club of players who just might bring some more wins.
Whether the Royals can spend more than they do is a discussion for another day, but that they occasionally should is obvious. They don’t have to splurge unnecessarily or recklessly, or even sign a free agent every year, but an occasional well-considered free agent expenditure could go a long way.
Take a present need, for example. The Royals’ rotation is a concern the club might address via free agency. Former Royal Cy Young winner Zack Greinke is available; because he can still pitch and set an important example for the club’s up-and-coming young pitchers, Greinke might be an excellent addition for 2022.
So, too, might Minnesota free agent Michael Pineda, or Danny Duffy if he’s healthy and wants to return to Kansas City. And we wrote recently that Alex Wood could help the Royals. (We suggested Kevin Gausman at the same time, but he apparently went off the market during Sunday night’s free agent signing bonanza).
The Royals shouldn’t sign any of these, or any other, free agents just for the sake of procuring some free agent. Instead, any free agent signing should fill an immediate need. It would also send the welcome message the club means serious business next season.
The Royals could send important messages with three immediate moves.