The KC Royals, a bad team in search of something far better than the 106-loss season they completed last month, partnered up with Atlanta this past Friday and got busy on the trade market trying to improve themselves.
First, they acquired Braves reliever Nick Anderson in a cash-for-player deal, then sent Jackson Kowar to Atlanta for starter Kyle Wright. Boosting their fortune via trades, as the Royals hope they did Friday, is probably their preferred path back to relevance, but general manager J.J. Picollo should still sign a significant free agent or two to before this baseball winter ends.
Picollo might even dip into the pool of former Royals currently shopping their services on the open market. We recently suggested a low-risk check-in on Danny Duffy might bear fruit, for example, and others like Jakob Junis and Sean Manaea could hear from Picollo.
Some ex-Royals, though, shouldn't be on the Picollo's list of players to call. Here are just a few.
The KC Royals still don't need to consider Whit Merrifield or Jorge Soler
Former Kansas City stars Whit Merrifield and Jorge Soler became free agents not long ago — Soler didn't exercise his Miami player option for 2024, while Merrifield and Toronto declined their mutual option. As we said then, two things — Michael Massey's presence at second base and Nick Loftin's versatility — make pursuing Merrifield unnecessary, and although Soler's power would be nice, KC has outfielders with far better gloves and the club is loaded with players who can DH. Nothing has happened to change our opinions.
On what other former Royals should Kansas City pass?