3 worst-case scenarios for the 2024 KC Royals

A trio of possible nightmares for Kansas City.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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The KC Royals were a bad baseball team in 2023. There is no way to sugarcoat a 106-loss season. Nor was it a fluke occurrence. Ever since the core of the 2014-2015 championship teams departed following the 2017 season, the Royals have steadily declined — they've lost over 100 games three times in their last five seasons, and at no point in those years did they really sniff relevancy. Yet, despite the fact the franchise remains embroiled in a controversial pursuit of a new stadium, there's a surprising amount of optimism surrounding the 2024 season.

The KC Royals have hope for 2024, but things can still go wrong

Why are fans excited about 2024? For starters, the Royals have been more active in the free agent and trade markets than they have been in years, acquiring among others Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo to boost the starting rotation, Will Smith and others to bolster the bullpen, and a proven bat in Hunter Renfroe. While some cynics may argue the club is pandering to win over voters on the stadium issue, it's exciting to see the Royals actually do something in the offseason.

Then there's the American League Central, arguably the weakest division in baseball. The Royals' realistic ceiling is probably in the neighborhood of .500, but they might just be poised to make a surprisingly good run against their four division rivals.

But the odds of the 2024 season breaking the other way are probably higher. No one will be surprised if the club goes off the rails again; there are several ways a season can go south, and the record isn't always the most important thing. The Royals could win 72 games and still be considered successful. Or they could post the same record and be a complete disaster. The devil is in the details.

Here are three worst-case scenarios for the Royals in 2024.