3 former KC Royals we'll be glad are gone in 2024 and 2 we'll wish stayed

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I cannot believe how much the KC Royals roster has turned over from the 2023 season's end to now. The so-called evaluation season was brutal at times, resulting in 106 losses and a last-place finish once again. Now, executive vice president & general manager J.J. Picollo and manager Matt Quatraro turn the page to 2024.

The KC Royals roster looks very different from 2023 to present day.

The Royals, armed with several free-agent acquisitions, have an outside shot of competing in the weak AL Central. Oh, the hope that springs before Opening Day is a beautiful thing.

It is easy to forget the role players from 2023 who saw plenty of action, no matter how poor their performance was. Pouring over some of the blowout losses and struggling players still logging innings unearthed memories most Royals fans would rather forget. But, it also reminded me of those Kansas City players who still maybe had something to offer this team in 2024. Like I said, the hope that springs.

Let's take a look at which former Royals we are glad will not return, and the others we may miss.

Gone: Jackson Kowar

We have spent so much time talking about the 2018 draft class. All the metrics, all the results, all the what-ifs, it all amounts to this: those picks were a swing and a miss. Insane hype followed the Royals' selections that year, including pitcher Jackson Kowar.

Kowar was once the organization's top pitching prospect, but that talent and production never materialized at the MLB level. He was atrocious for Kansas City as a starter, posting an 11.27 ERA across eight starts in 2021. The bullpen transition offered no help, with a 7.63 ERA across 30 games the past two seasons.

Did Kowar have flashes in Kansas City? Sure, most MLB players do it once or twice. But he was terrible for the most part and Kansas City mercifully moved on. They traded Kowar to the Atlanta Braves for pitcher Kyle Wright, a starter Kansas City will not see in 2024. But that is still a surprising return for a pitcher with Kowar's track record.

The Florida alum now plays for the Seattle Mariners, slotting as a bullpen option in the AL West. No matter where Kowar plays, Royals fans will not be sad seeing him suit up for the other team.

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