Take advantage of a weak AL Central.
If you took a poll of MLB analysts, the majority of responses would pick the AL Central as the weakest division in all of baseball. After transactional regression from other teams, the Royals need to be aggressive in going from worst to first.
The division was the worst in baseball last year, with only the Minnesota Twins having a winning record. The Royals and White Sox had more than 100 losses, while no other division had more than one 100-loss team. It was a season where 80 wins would have kept a team in contention for the division, with both Detroit (78 wins) and Cleveland (76 wins) being in the mix late into the season. The division has not been great in recent years, but this was a new low for the AL Central.
Believe it or not, things could get worse in 2024. The Twins have largely been quiet this offseason while losing ace Sonny Gray to free agency. Minnesota, despite winning its first postseason series since 2002, seems content to maintain the status quo. Chicago seems far away from contention. Cleveland is a seller in trade rumors rather than a buyer. Detroit is losing more production than it can replace.
Meanwhile, the Royals are looking, dare I say it, aggressive this offseason. General manager J.J. Picollo made several impactful additions this offseason, spending record money in free agency. MLB Network analyst Anthony Recker named them an early favorite to win the AL Central, and that was before they added Michael Wacha and Hunter Renfroe.
How do the Royals take advantage of a weak division? Avoid trailing off as the season goes along. There is some help waiting in the minors, but Kansas City needs to stay close to .500, and then be buyers at the trade deadline. If they do both of those things and no other team breaks out, the Royals will at least be in contention for the divisional crown.