If history repeats itself, and it probably will, the KC Royals won’t invest in many free agents this winter. They customarily don’t, and only Zack Greinke, the club’s lone free agent, is frequently mentioned as a certain Kansas City target.
Greinke makes sense for KC and seems likely to return. That doesn’t foreclose other signings—this team is always capable of a surprise or two—but General Manager J.J. Picollo isn’t going to splurge.
Expect him to look, though, especially given his desire to add a right handed bat. And it’s no secret the club can use another established starting starter even if Greinke comes back.
San Diego might be one place worth looking.
The Padres, fresh off a playoff run that saw them bow to Philadelphia in the NLCS, have nine free agents. If Picollo casts an eye West, however, only four should attract his attention.
The KC Royals might take a look at a veteran switch hitting outfielder.
Mention Padres on the market and Jurickson Profar’s name is sure to pop up. Next season will be his 10th in the majors, which means he’s doing something right. He has some power and can run a bit.
And because he hits from both sides, and has done everything on a big league field except pitch and catch, Profar offers everyday lineup flexibility.
But there are downsides. Only twice—2018 when he hit .254 and the short 2020 season when he hit .278—has his average exceeded .243, and his career average is .238. And although he’s clubbed 20 homers twice, he’s hit only 38 others. Defensively, his dWAR is -3.3.
Can the Royals do better? Yes, and that’s why they should pass on Profar.
Who else from San Diego might help KC?