Welcome back to the Kings of Kauffman offseason update series. Like many of our sister FanSided baseball sites, we’ll be using this format regularly to keep fans up to date on what the KC Royals are, and aren’t, doing to improve the club. So, keep a close eye on this space.
Last week held some hope for KC Royals fans ready to see the club start making trades, signing free agents, and clearing their roster of underperforming players. Like all other major league teams, the Royals had to set their 40-man roster by Tuesday afternoon and tender, or non-tender, 2023 contracts to their arbitration-eligible players by end of business Friday.
But in case you haven’t heard, those hopes began to disappear Tuesday when Kansas City made its 40-man decisions without making much of a splash, and were dashed completely Friday when KC tendered contracts to its nine arbitration-eligible players.
Barring trades or other transactions unforeseen at this point, adding them to the 40-man gave pitcher Alec Marsh, catcher Freddy Fermin and outfielder Diego Hernández protection from Rule 5 Draft exposure. DFA’d and thus dropped from the 40-man were outfielder Brent Rooker and pitchers Nate Webb and Jake Brentz.
O’Hearn’s signing, which depending on your perspective is either believable or unbelievable, means the Royals will take at least one more chance on a once-promising player who’s become productive only as a pinch hitter.
And Friday’s contract tender frenzy means that despite solid arguments to let them go, Adalberto Mondesi and Brad Keller are still in the team’s plans. Also tendered were Brady Singer, Scott Barlow, Nicky Lopez, Amir Garrett, Josh Staumont, Taylor Clarke, and Kris Bubic. (More on their arbitration status in a moment).
Important offseason dates for the KC Royals to remember.
With the passing of the 40-man roster and contract tender deadlines, what important offseason dates remain?
- Dec. 5-8: Winter Meetings. Expect baseball’s annual confab to yield a bumper crop of rumors and deals. How active (or inactive) Kansas City will be remains to be seen.
- Jan. 13: Arbitration proposals. This is the day the club and any remaining arbitration-eligible players are required to exchange proposed 2023 salary offers. Hearings begin in unsettled cases Jan. 30.
KC Royals arbitration award projections.
Major League Baseball Trade Rumors projects these potential awards for Royals still eligible for arbitration:
- Brad Keller, $7 million
- Scott Barlow, $4.9 million
- Nicky Lopez, $3.4 million
- Adalberto Mondesi, $3 million
- Brady Singer, $2.9 million
- Amir Garrett, $2.6 million
- Kris Bubic, $1.8 million
- Taylor Clarke, $1.5 million
- Josh Staumont, $1 million
KC Royals projected 2023 payroll situation.
Spotrac’s latest Kansas City projection suggests the club will have at least a $74,409,143 payroll in 2023.
KC Royals transactions to date.
Whether by trade or free agency, Kansas City still hasn’t added any players as of this writing. But the club has lost these:
- Brent Rooker. Waiver claim to Oakland.
- Nate Webb. Signed with Pittsburgh.
- Sebastian Rivero. Released.
- Gabe Speier. Waiver claim to Seattle.
- Tyler Zuber. Waiver claim to Arizona.
- Luke Weaver. Waiver claim to Seattle.
Pitcher Zack Greinke elected free agency shortly after the World Series ended, but appears to be a good candidate to return to Kansas City.
KC Royals rumors, speculation, projections.
Kansas City hasn’t been the subject of many player move rumors, but this one, courtesy of New York Post Mets beat writer Mike Puma, surfaced on Twitter late in the week:
Kansas City would do well to pass on Smith. His career .246 average and 46 homers in 447 big league games over six seasons aren’t major needle-movers. And he’s split time between first base and the outfield, presently overstocked positions for the Royals.
The paucity of rumors doesn’t mean there hasn’t been speculation about who might be good fits for the Royals, including:
- A pair of Cardinal free agents could help the Royals’ pitching staff.
- Two Padres free agent pitchers are worth looks from Kansas City.
- A former Royal might be a good candidate for a return to KC.
That’s all for this update. We’ll be back soon.