Welcome back to the Kings of Kauffman offseason update series. Like many other 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.
If the KC Royals know what 2023 holds in store for Zack Greinke, they aren’t telling.
And neither is Greinke.
The veteran starter is Kansas City’s only free agent and has been so since shortly after the World Series ended. Well-chronicled is the Royals’ interest in re-signing him, yet there’s been no sign from team or player of any imminent resolution to the situation.
The lack of Greinke news isn’t surprising. KC is a team famously reluctant to discuss pending personnel matters and Greinke is the sort who talks publicly when he has something to say. While the Royals appear eager to have him, Greinke must weigh whether to pitch another season, retire, or search for another club to add to the six teams—Kansas City, Arizona, Houston, Milwaukee, and both Los Angeles clubs—he’s already pitched for.
Don’t be shocked, then, if this matter doesn’t resolve in the next few days.
It looks like the KC Royals won’t land a former Central Division rival.
Kansas City needs pitching, and General Manager J.J. Picollo makes no secret of his desire to add an experienced big league starter, presumably even if he signs Greinke. But if he had any interest in Mike Clevinger, it looks like he needs to turn the page from the former Cleveland starter.
Various outlets, including MLB.com and our sister FanSided site Southside Showdown, carried reports Sunday that the White Sox have signed Clevinger for a year. The veteran righty was 2-1 for San Diego last season in his first year back from Tommy John Surgery, and was 42-22 with a 3.20 ERA in five seasons for Cleveland before moving to the Padres.
The Royals won’t welcome him back to the American league Central with open arms—he’s 9-0, 1.98 lifetime against them.
Will Chicago’s loss of a major free agent star help the KC Royals?
Just a day after reportedly signing Clevinger, the White Sox suffered a blow when slugging free agent first baseman José Abreu ended his nine-year stay on the South Side by signing on with Houston for three years.
Abreu has never hit less than 15 homers in a season; his career high is 36 (set, interestingly enough, as a rookie in 2014), and he owns a .292/.354/.506 career slash.
While Chicago’s acquisition of Clevinger forces Kansas City to deal again with a long-time nemesis, Abreu becoming an Astro gives Kansas City a slight break—because Houston plays in the AL West, the Royals won’t face him as much, and never as a division rival.
And that’s a good thing. In151 games against KC, Abreu is slashing .290/.353/.485 with 26 homers and 86 RBIs.
Important offseason dates for the KC Royals to remember.
Two major dates remain before spring training camps open in February.
- Dec. 5-8: Winter Meetings. Look for some big deals to be made. Maybe the Royals will join the fun.
- Jan. 13: Arbitration proposals. Clubs and players with open arbitration cases must exchange their 2023 salary proposals. Arbitrators are scheduled to begin considering unresolved cases Jan. 30.
KC Royals arbitration award projections.
Kansas City began the offseason with 11 arbitration-eligible players; since then, Ryan O’Hearn signed a new deal with the club and Luke Weaver became a Mariner. Major League Baseball Trade Rumors projects these potential awards for the nine players with whom the team hasn’t settled:
- 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 gives the club a $74,409,143 payroll for next season.
KC Royals transactions to date.
Kansas City remains quiet on the major acquisitions front but recently signed three minor league free agents.
The Royals have also lost these players:
- 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.
KC Royals rumors, speculation, projections.
Although few rumors are circulating about the Royals, speculation and projections abound:
- There might be help for Kansas City among Baltimore’s free agents.
- A pair of Cardinal free agents could help the Royals’ pitching staff.
- A former KC prospect could be worth a look.
- A former Royal might be a good reunion candidate.
Watch this space for more Hot Stove updates.