The KC Royals have been candid about their offseason free agent spending plans.
Unless they re-sign Zack Greinke for more than the $13 million he made last season, possibly the only way he returns considering the club’s public pronouncements that they want him back and the strong market for starting pitchers, they won’t be writing any big checks. And more proof of that approach came Tuesday evening when the Royals picked up Tampa Bay free agent lefty Ryan Yarbrough for a reported $3 million base.
So don’t be surprised if the club might have been considering affordable Angels righthander Michael Lorenzen, an eight-year big league veteran who’s started and relieved, but is best thought of as a starter. Lorenzen pitched decently for the Halos last season, going 8-6 with a 4.24 ERA in 18 starts, a performance for which Los Angeles had to pay only $6.75 million, an amount only a bit more than half of what KC paid Greinke.
But any designs Kansas City had on Lorenzen apparently fell by the wayside Wednesday night. According to reports, including FanSided MLB Insider Robert Murray’s, Lorenzen and the Tigers are getting together:
If the Royals were in on Lorenzen and lost out, his joining AL Central rival Detroit will increase the sting.
Should Kansas City consider any other LA free agents?
Touki Toussaint is on the market, but the KC Royals probably can’t use him.
Touki Toussaint is only 26, but already has five big league seasons behind him—he went 3-3, 4.50 for 2021 World Series champ Atlanta and is 10-7, 5.34 in four years with the Braves and one with the Angels.
LA, however, DFA’d him not long before the deadline for clubs to set 40-man rosters for Rule 5 Draft reasons, and he’s now a free agent. The Royals could take a look at him but shouldn’t: as his career 5.50 BB/9 suggests, control is a problem for the righthander and Kansas City already has enough hurlers who struggle to throw strikes.
What about three other Angel free agents?