3 positions the Royals need to invest in during free agency

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This addition is contingent upon two things. First, the Royals may move on from Salvador Perez this offseason and mercifully send him to a contending team. Secondly, this is assuming the Royals do not move MJ Melendez back behind the plate. Those two moves leave Freddy Fermin and a bunch of questions at catcher. It may not be sexy, but the Royals would need another veteran behind the plate.

The Royals have two top catching prospects in Carter Jensen and Blake Mitchell, but neither is close to being ready for The Show. Logan Porter could be a depth option, but he isn't even on this year's 40-man roster and has never been a defensive savant behind the plate. Other organization options, such as Luca Tresh or Jose Briceno, do not inspire much confidence and would not improve the MLB roster.

There is not a big splash to be had on the catcher free-agent market. But if the Royals want to add one of the game's best framing catchers, they can do so with Austin Hedges. The 31-year-old Hedges has the second-most catcher-framing runs and the second-best strike rate, according to Baseball Savant. Fermin is dead average in both areas, so Hedges could help out a possibly young pitching staff in that regard. But Hedges has not been a plus-bat in the lineup, so he's really a one-trick player.

There are a few options for the Royals out there to add catching depth. There is not a sure-fire option to take the starting position from Fermin, though. That should embolden Kansas City to take a chance on a volatile player or add a player with defense in mind. Either way, if Perez and Melendez are not catching options, the Royals need someone other than Fermin.

Realistic free agency options: Austin Hedges, Yan Gomes, Victor Caratini, Gary Sanchez