MLB Offseason Preview: Kansas City Royalsby John Lepore November 4, 2020 0 comments
The Kansas City Royals finished 26-34, good enough for fourth place in the American League Central. They are in the midst of a rebuild and will be returning most of their team in 2021. As a mid-small-market team, the Royals can’t afford to spend on major free agents, but they have some talent already on their squad. Let’s take a look at the MLB Offseason Preview for the Royals.
The lineup is an area that Dayton Moore already said he would address. Specifically, guys who can get on base. The Royals finished 26th in the majors with a .309 OBP and kept them from taking advantage of their excellent team speed – tied for fourth in baseball with 49 stolen bases. The infield is fairly set, but the outfield aside from Whit Merrifield needs some work. Alex Gordon retired after 14 years of calling Kauffman Stadium home, leaving a hole in left field.
The bullpen is another area of concern. Trevor Rosenthal was traded at the deadline for promising young outfielder Edward Olivares. Greg Holland and Ian Kennedy are both free agents and likely won’t be back unless the price is right. Considering the Royals will be depending primarily on young starters in the near future, bullpen depth will be a necessity.
Keys to the Offseason
The Royals acquired promising young outfielder Olivares in the Rosenthal deal. They also have former first-round pick Bubba Starling and Franchy Cordero, who was also acquired in July of this year. The problem is that those three players combined for a .266 OBP in 171 PAs. This is one area where Moore may want to open the wallet a little to bring in a veteran for a year or two and give them some time to see what they have in Olivares.
Bring in Multiple Arms
There are plenty of relievers on the free-agent market this offseason. This should help the Royals as they look to sign a few pitchers to fill the pen behind Josh Staumont and Kyle Zimmer. While they won’t likely be in the mix to ink closers like Kirby Yates or Ken Giles, there are many veterans available who are on the back end of their careers. With the depth of the position and suspected lack of money that will be thrown around this offseason, Kansas City could certainly afford to bring in a few arms.
Robbie Grossman, 31, Outfielder
The eight-year veteran fits in perfectly with what Moore wants to improve in his lineup – Get on base. Grossman has an excellent .359 OBP since 2016 and walks 13.2 percent of the time. He is a switch-hitter who is an average defender in left field. Grossman brings a little pop and speed to the lineup as well averaging 12 HRs and seven SBs per 162 games. He isn’t flashy but can do everything fairly well. The former Athletic, Twin, and Astro could fill in admirably for the departed Gordon at around $5-$8 million a year for two or three years.
Greg Holland, 34, Reliever
He will be 35 on November 20, but Holland showed he can still be a valuable part of a big-league bullpen. Drafted in the 10th round by the Royals all the way back in 2007, Holland found his way back to Kansas City last season. He had a 1.91 ERA and an excellent 31/7 K/BB rate while only allowing one HR in 28 1/3 IP. The veteran gives Mike Matheny a good arm with closer experience who could be a positive influence on a young staff. Holland may be brought back for a couple of years at $2-$4 million per year.
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