MLB teams faced a big deadline today as the MLB offseason progresses. Teams needed to add Rule 5-eligible players to the 40-man roster to protect them from next month’s Rule 5 Draft before Tuesday at 6 p.m. EST. The KC Royals had several candidates to protect, but they ultimately selected pitcher Will Klein and outfielder Tyler Gentry.
The Royals 40-man was already full, so the two additions meant two subtractions. In turn, Kansas City designated catcher Logan Porter and pitcher Josh Staumont for assignment.
Both Gentry and Klein are top-30 prospects in the Royals system, according to MLB.com. Gentry ranks eighth in the farm system as a right-handed corner outfielder. He hit .253/.370/.421 in129 games for Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers this season, with 16 home runs and 14 stolen bases. He is not a powerful hitter, but consistently gets on base and has gap-to-gap power. His arm slots best in right field, but his defense is solid enough for either corner outfield spot.
Klein, Kansas City's 25th-best prospect, represented the Royals in this year's Futures Game. He rebounded with 44 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings for the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals, earning a promotion to Omaha. The reliever struggled to start his Triple-A tenure, but the 23-year-old righty has the ceiling to necessitate protecting him from the Rule 5 Draft.
The Rule 5 Draft necessitated these moves by the KC Royals.
For those unaware, the Rule 5 Draft allows clubs to select eligible non-40-man roster players from other clubs' rosters. Klein and Gentry were just two of many players becoming eligible for the Draft. The Royals left players like Asa Lacy, Tyler Tolbert, and Devin Mann exposed to the Draft. But, any team is making a calculated risk with selecting players in the Draft. The player must stay on the 26-man roster (or the injured list) all year, making a Draft-and-stash approach much more impactful on the MLB roster.
Staumont was once a key bullpen arm, posting a 2.76 ERA and 10.7 K/9 across the 2020 and 2021 seasons. However, injuries have made him less effective in recent seasons. His return to the mound is questionable after undergoing thoracic outlet syndrome surgery this season.
Porter made his long-awaited MLB debut this past September, appearing the 11 games. The 28-year-old is likely to pass through waivers and remain with the organization after hitting .194/.324/.323 in MLB action.
The Royals 40-man roster remains full, but there are more key dates for roster decisions. This Friday's tender deadline could open more spots in Kansas City.