KC Royals Roster: Predicting the next three Kansas City 40-man additions

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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One of the oldest accepted baseball truths is that no team will end a season with the same 40-man roster that it began with. Don't believe that? It has already happened on the KC Royals 40-man roster. Pitcher Matt Sauer is back in the New York Yankees organization, while relievers Sam Long and Tyler Duffey are two other new 40-man additions that Royals fans have seen this season.

The KC Royals have a plan. What could it be?

The MLB season is not even halfway over, with plenty of baseball left to play and all the variables that come with it. The summer sun melts players, and the arduous season exacerbates those lingering injuries. MLB teams have large staffs of people devoted to player health and recovery, but even they can only do so much. Freak moments, like outfielder Kyle Isbel's foul ball to the face, or sudden injuries, like superstar Ronald Acuña Jr.'s ACL tear, are just two reasons the transaction wire keeps humming.

That doesn't even take into consideration instances where players simply underperform. Utilityman Garrett Hampson and reliever Will Smith drew the ire of Royals fans earlier this season, calling for their jobs. Both players settled in this month, but they are still on fans' hot lists. They will not, and are not, the only struggling Royals in 2024. There will come a time when the organization's patience and coaches' trust run out. 

When that time comes, no matter the circumstance, Kansas City's organizational depth will be tested. Fans already saw that once, when Jonathan Bowlan and Daniel Lynch IV filled in for Alec Marsh across two starts. But both of those players were already on the 40-man roster, so calling them up was not a high-stakes move. My interest lies in a more extreme decision that Kansas City will likely make eventually.

Which players make sense to join, or re-join, Kansas City's 40-man roster in the near future? But, more importantly, why do they fit and deserve that distinction? Let's look at three strong options.