3 big mistakes the KC Royals should not make...but might
Excuse those KC Royals fans who foresaw a sea change coming to the club this winter after principal owner John Sherman finally moved on from Dayton Moore in September and general manager J.J. Picollo quickly discharged manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred as soon as the season ended.
Also forgive them any apathy that may now be swallowing up their optimism as the Royals, looking much like the Royals often look almost three months into their offseason, haven't added an important bat and continue to sign pedestrian hurlers who provide little promise of transforming a long-beleaguered pitching staff.
Whether Picollo's conservative approach pays any dividends or proves to be a mistake won't be known until well into the 2023 season; Sherman may have more decisions to make if his general manager's first winter calling personnel shots fails miserably.
Here are three errors Picollo needs to avoid.
The KC Royals must not give in to the temptation to bring back Mike Moustakas.
To Kansas City fans, Mike Moustakas is a hero, a beloved member of the incredible 2014 and 2015 World Series clubs, and a can't-miss future member of the club Hall of Fame. His fiery style, strong bat and serviceable third base defense endeared "Moose" to the city and franchise, and his departure for free agency after the 2017 season saddened most.
Moustakas shouldn't have had difficulty finding a lucrative deal with another club, but his market never flourished and he remained unsigned well into spring training.
Enter Moore and the Royals, who threw Moustakas a lifeline when needed it most and in mid-March brought him back to Kansas City on a one-year deal. But he was gone to Milwaukee in a trade deadline deal, played there through 2019, then signed a four-year, $64 million deal with Cincinnati.
Now, a string of injuries and three years of weak hitting appear to have ended Moose's Cincinnati stay: the Reds DFA'd him last week, and finding a club to take him in trade seems improbable, meaning Moustakas will soon need a lifeline again.
Kansas City shouldn't be the club to give it to him. Yes, having Moustakas back would be fun and nostalgia's pull could be strong. But unlike Eric Hosmer, recently released by Boston, there is no case to be made for Moose's return.
His Cincinnati injury history, which limited him to 184 games in three seasons, argues against it. He might have something left in his bat, but the .216 and 21 homers he hit for the Reds suggest it isn't much, and he doesn't presently offer more as a lefthanded bat off the bench than Ryan O'Hearn ... and that says a lot.
The Royals tend to gravitate toward former players, so Moose can't be ruled out. But reuniting with him is a mistake to be avoided.
What other personnel errors might Kansas City fall into?