9 2021 KC Royals are gone, but how are they doing?

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals
(Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

The inevitable change baseball’s winter brings didn’t bypass the KC Royals. Once the 2021 season ended, and despite a three-month transaction freeze wrought by the lockout, the Royals reunited with veteran starter Zack Greinke and picked up some free agent pitchers.

And they lost some players.

Gone to retirement, and deserving of induction into the club’s Hall of Fame, is reliever and former franchise hero Wade Davis.

And the Royals didn’t bring back hurlers Greg Holland, Mike Minor, Kyle Zimmer, Scott Blewett, Ervin Santana and Jakob Junis, or infielder Hanser Alberto and first baseman-outfielder Ryan McBroom.

Where are those players now? How are they doing?

Three former KC Royals pitchers aren’t working while another is trying to.

Despite some recent success, the woes of Kansas City’s starting rotation are such that a spring training trade the club made with Cincinnati was at least mildly surprising.

The deal came two days before the Royals’ first Cactus League game and sent starter Mike Minor, who was preparing for the final year of his two-year KC contract, to the Reds for reliever Amir Garrett. Unfortunately for Minor, and while Garrett hasn’t surrendered a run in five appearances, Minor soon suffered shoulder soreness, landed on the Injured List, and hasn’t thrown a big league pitch this season. He gave up six runs on five hits (including two homers) in a rehab appearance for Double-A Chattanooga two weeks ago and continues working toward a return to the Reds.

Greg Holland elected free agency after the 2021 season and was on the Rangers’ roster for 12 days earlier this month, but the club DFA’d him and he hit the free agent market again after going 0-1 and giving up five runs in 4.2 innings.

Yet to catch on with a big league organization are pitchers Jesse Hahn and Ervin Santana, although Santana went 2-1 with a 3.86 in five starts for Lucey in the Dominican Winter League.