KC Royals Roster: Trying to solve the rotation puzzle

Kansas City has been busy improving its pitching. Who might make up the 2024 rotation?

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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It’s been a busy offseason so far for the KC Royals. Many new additions and several departures have transformed and improved the club's 40-man roster.

Everyone knew going into the baseball winter that the Royals needed to invest heavily in retooling their struggling rotation and bullpen. Fortunately, they've dedicated much of the offseason to doing just that: gone are starters Jackson Kowar and Jonathan Heasley, and it looks like free agents Brad Keller and Zack Greinke won't return. In the bullpen, Dylan Coleman and Collin Snider are the most noticeable departures. And the club DFA'd Max Castillo Tuesday.

Who can we expect to see on the 2024 KC Royals pitching staff?

There are some new faces on Kansas City's 40-man. Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha are both guaranteed to play major roles next season. The Royals also picked up Kyle Wright from the Braves, but he'll spend most, if not all, of 2024 on the Injured List recovering from a shoulder injury.

Other new pitchers include veteran relievers Nick Anderson, Will Smith and Chris Stratton, all of whom will almost certainly be tasked with carrying the club through the late innings. And the Royals used the Rule 5 Draft to pick up Matt Sauer, who more than likely will also assume a relief role.

Two major 2023 acquisitions remain with the squad. Free agent pickup Jordan Lyles has a season left on his two-year deal on which the Royals owe $8.5 million. We can expect to see more from impressive mid-2023 season acquisition Cole Ragans, who the Royals received from the Rangers for Aroldis Chapman.

And despite trading Kowar, the Royals continue to carry four members of their once-promising 2018 draft class, including Brady Singer, Daniel Lynch IV, Jonathan Bowlan, and Kris Bubic.

Who will make up the starting rotation?