6 KC Royals players fighting for their futures heading into 2024 season

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RHP Matt Sauer

I am hard-pressed to think of a player with a shorter leash than reliever Matt Sauer. Rule 5 draft picks do not have a good history of staying with their new club in recent history. Kansas City has a solid track record of finding productive players in the Rule 5 draft, compared to the rest of the league. They hope Sauer can be another success story of finding undervalued players.

Sauer has the frame and stuff to possibly be a starter, but injuries and a top-heavy New York Yankees pitching corp made his MLB path tough. The righty hopes to improve his fastball by a few ticks coming out of the bullpen while leaning on a fastball/slider mix in a relief role. His curveball and changeup have potential but would be easy pickings for MLB hitters.

Sauer will have plenty of low-leverage appearances this season. His performance in those will define his future not only in Kansas City but in the MLB. The Royals covet his control and ability to throw strikes, but are betting his stuff improves in a relief role. Brad Keller and Joakim Soria fit that profile in ways, but will Sauer be another forgotten player or a diamond in the rough? He will decide his fate in 2024.

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