Why the KC Royals can't risk saying 'No' to James McArthur

The reliever is making his case.

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How FanGraphs projects James McArthur will perform in 2024

FanGraphs (Depth Charts) predicts McArthur will go 3-3 with 15 saves and a 4.35 ERA, numbers that for a reliever strongly suggest he'll spend most, if not all, of the 2024 campaign with the Royals.

How will James McArthur actually do for the KC Royals?

Unless he begins to resemble the pitcher Cleveland bombed last June, expect McArthur to be at Kauffman Stadium when the Royals welcome Minnesota for the March 28 season opener, or to join them before April ends. Either way, he'll see a lot of action out of manager Matt Quatraro's bullpen.

Just how often Quatraro calls on him depends entirely on McArthur, but fans should see him often. Because Kansas City has veteran Will Smith back in their fold, McArthur won't be the Opening Day closer, but his chances to set up Smith are good. And if the Royals move Smith at the trade deadline, which seems likely, McArthur should be a strong candidate to take his place. A handful of wins, a few losses, 15-20 saves, and a decent ERA are all reasonable to expect from him.

Things are looking up for the Royals. For the first time in years, they have a realistic chance to improve significantly, and talk of contending is taken seriously. But to become relevant again, they'll need good pitchers, and a lot of them.

And when the time comes to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to him, that's why the club can't risk saying "No" to James McArthur.

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