11 crucial contract decisions await the KC Royals

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KC Royals, Adalberto Mondesi
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The KC Royals shouldn’t offer 2023 contracts to these four players.

Determining definitive non-tenders shouldn’t be hard for Kansas City. For one, Ryan O’Hearn, sometimes a first baseman, sometimes an outfielder, sometimes a DH and sometimes a pinch hitter, needs to go. The good bat off the bench he had this season (.367/.406/.567 as a pinch hitter) isn’t enough to offset his disturbing .219/.293/.390 career line. It’s that simple.

Adalberto Mondesi presents a more difficult, yet uncomplicated, decision. The torn ACL he suffered in April was the latest of a perplexingly long string of career-derailing injuries and more evidence of his unreliable health. And Kansas City is packed with talented young infielders—no matter where they play, Bobby Witt Jr., Michael Massey, Nate Eaton and Nicky Lopez will make the Royals’ a hard lineup for Mondesi to crack. He’s become too big a question mark.

More. It's time to let Adalberto Mondesi go. light

Kansas City should also cut Brad Keller. Yes, he’s twice been named the team’s Pitcher of the Year, but he’s never won more than nine games and has lost 14 twice and 12 once in five seasons. He succeeded neither as a starter (6-13, 4.93 ERA) nor a reliever (0-1, 6.23) this season, and his unpredictability and inconsistency make him expendable.

The Royals can easily afford to non-tender pitcher Luke Weaver, who they picked up from Arizona in the trade deadline deal that sent Emmanuel Rivera to the Diamondbacks. Working exclusively out of Kansas City’s bullpen, the righthander went 0-0 with an excessive 5.59 ERA and allowed eight of 14 inherited runners to score. He went 1-1, 7.71 in 12 appearances with Arizona.