The KC Royals don’t need to make any moves with their infield, outfield or DH.
Kansas City began its offseason with an infield and outfield picture muddled by Adalberto Mondesi’s health, Bobby Witt Jr.’s potential promotion, the question of whether Nick Pratto is ready to move Carlos Santana aside at first base, and a vacancy in right field nobody managed to fill in 2021.
But now, and at least temporarily, the Royals have all the puzzle pieces where they believe they fit.
Call it The Plan, the club’s recently announced strategy having Mondesi returning to shortstop as its linchpin. With Mondesi back at short, Witt can play third, Nicky Lopez can pick back up at second where he left off before Mondesi’s three 2021 injuries forced him over to shortstop, and Whit Merrifield can give right field the go the Royals have long wanted for him. That leaves Santana, hopefully recovered from the hip injury that hampered his 2021 season, at first, and Gold Glovers Andrew Benintendi and Michael A. Taylor to patrol left and center fields.
Not a bad arrangement.
And what if the linchpin—Mondesi—can’t stay healthy? Simple. Just rearrange the pieces—Witt stays at third, Lopez slides back to short, Merrifield returns to second, and the Royals place right field in the hands of either Kyle Isbel or Edward Olivares, both of whom deserve a shot at the position. And first base remains with Santana unless the inevitable move to Pratto has already occurred.
Finding a designated hitter also isn’t a priority for the Royals because they have so many to choose from on any given day. DH is where Salvador Perez will take frequent refuge from the physical demands of catching, Hunter Dozier will spend most of his time, MJ Melendez will take a few turns when he arrives, and Ryan O’Hearn will try to regain the form he hasn’t been able to find since 2018.
So it is that the infield, outfield and DH situations don’t require major adjustments. Kansas City doesn’t need to look for additional help.
The Royals don’t need to seek any blockbuster deals.