The KC Royals probably won’t be interested in Texas’ other free agents.
Because Kansas City suffered through the 2022 season with one of the least effective rotations in baseball, expect General Manager J.J. Picollo to pursue a veteran starting pitcher this winter. But don’t look for him to seriously pursue Texas free agent Kohei Arihara … if he pursues him at all.
Arihara won 60 games in six seasons for the NPB’s Nippon Ham Fighters before signing a two-year deal with the Rangers two Decembers ago. Those two seasons have been disappointing—a finger injury cost him almost four months of the 2021 season and he went 2-4, 6.64 in 10 starts; he began 2022 in the minors and, after the Rangers brought him up in August, was slammed for 22 runs and walked 11 batters in 20 innings (9.45 ERA, 4.95 BB/9) and went 1-3 in five starts.
Picollo probably won’t consider Texas two other free agents. Charlie Culberson is versatile—catching and playing center field are the only things he hasn’t done in the majors—but he rarely homers, has a 10-season .248 average and career .293 OBP, and will be 34 in April.
If signed, Culberson won’t break into KC’s starting outfield. And should the club need a righthanded bench bat who can and does hit for average and power, promising prospect Logan Porter could fit the bill … if another team doesn’t grab him in next week’s Rule 5 draft.
Kansas City should also pass on 11-year veteran Kole Calhoun, like Culberson a player whose age (35) and career numbers (.243/.316/.418) don’t commend him to a full-time spot in Kauffman Stadium’s outfield. And the Royals already have several younger players capable of filling reserve roles.
Matt Moore is the only Texas free agent who should interest Kansas City.