Some former KC Royals make news, some remain stalled

Updating the ex-Royals job market.
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Los Angeles signing Hunter Dozier to a minor league contract wasn't the only transaction involving a former KC Royals player announced Friday.

In fact, the Yankees made news involving not just one, but two, ex-Royals. New York picked up former Kansas City pitcher Luke Weaver and, to open a space for him on its 40-man roster, designated ex-KC outfielder Bubba Thompson for assignment.

Weaver, the Royals' return in the 2022 trade deadline deal that sent Emmanuel Rivera to Arizona, performed poorly in the 14 games he pitched for KC following the trade— he surrendered 15 runs in 19.1 innings, and it's no solace that three of those runs were unearned. His Royals tenure didn't survive the winter: Seattle claimed him on waivers in October, then let him go, and he made stops with Cincinnati, and Seattle again, before he finished last season with the Yankees and became a free agent in November. Rivera, meanwhile, played for Arizona in last year's World Series.

Thompson came to the Royals via waivers last August and spent the rest of the campaign at Triple-A Omaha. The Reds grabbed him off waivers in October but DFA'd him in late December. New York claimed him several days later.

But while Weaver and Thompson made news Friday, the market for several other Royals remains quiet.

4 members of KC's 2015 World Champions don't have jobs yet

Who are they? Free agent infielder Mike Moustakas, the Royals' wildly popular third baseman from 2011 until the club traded him to Milwaukee in 2018, and who's added second and first bases to his resume since leaving KC, is still on the market. He began last season with Colorado before the Rockies dealt him to the Angels in June, and for the year hit 12 homers, his highest total since 2019.

Well-chronicled is the unfortunate fact that Danny Duffy hasn't seen a bit of big league action since Kansas City traded him to the Dodgers at the 2021 trade deadline. Instead, he's spent the interim recovering from flexor strain issues and pitching in the Dodgers', and then the Rangers', minor league systems.

Speculation about where Duffy might land, if he lands anywhere at all, is virtually non-existent. And the story is the same for former KC Gold Glove first baseman Eric Hosmer, who hasn't played for anyone since the Cubs released him last May, and shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, whose knee problems have prevented him from seeing a major league pitch since early in the 2022 season.

A quartet of other high-profile ex-Royals are still looking for work

It's been over a month since news broke that Zack Greinke is ready to return in 2024 for his 21st big league campaign. But no club seems ready to bring him aboard: he's unsigned as of this writing.

Also without places to play are slugger Jorge Soler and premier utility man Whit Merrifield. They should, however, find lucrative work soon.

That may not be the case for pitcher Brad Keller, whose inconsistency and recent injury history may make finding a new deal difficult in his first test of the free agency waters.

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