We’re continuing with our “Three Needs” series, in which we take a look at the chief issues to be addressed for clubs that have fallen out of contention. We’ve already focused on the Mariners, Tigers, White Sox, Marlins, Rangers, Pirates, and Angels. Now we’re going to Kansas City to check in on a Royals team that just cracked 100 losses for the second-consecutive season — an ignominious feat they last accomplished in 2005-2006.
[Kansas City Royals Depth Chart]
1. Auction Off Whit Merrifield
You never want to move a guy like this. But he’s closing in on his 31st birthday and showed a slight but noticeable downtick in the speed department last year, dropping from his 95th percentile highpoint to the 85.6th percentile in sprint speed. That’s still quite good, but the difference showed up in the results: Merrifield was successful on just 19 of 29 stolen base attempts a year after swiping 45 and generated 1.2 runs on the bases after tabbing 7.4 in 2018.
We’re not pulling the fire alarm on Merrifield. Even if he’s merely a really good but sub-elite baserunner, he’s one of the game’s steadiest high-average hitters and continues to show solid pop. And while the metrics waffled a bit on the glovework, Merrifield still carries a track record of quality defensive play along with immense versatility.
Add it all up, and … did we mention the Royals just lost 100 games for the second time in a row? Merrifield is a heck of a useful player on a nice contract. He’d basically fit on any team in baseball and might be a real difference-maker in the right situation. Everything about Merrifield’s profile screams for him to be sent to a contender. Keeping him is a luxury the Royals can’t afford.
2. Pursue Extensions, But Don’t Over-Extend
The core reason the Royals ought to move Merrifield is that a low-revenue team only has so many opportunities to achieve value and swing above its spending weight. Those must be maximized, particularly when the team is in a rebuilding phase. The same reasoning supports the pursuit of offseason extension negotiations — with some players, and to a point.
Why the cautionary references? Because a team in this situation must maintain some serious future-looking spending discipline and focus primarily on improving its asset base rather than on avoiding the eventual departure of guys it likes.
Convincing slugger Jorge Soler to commit into his thirties seems unnecessarily risky, even if he just enjoyed a nice campaign. Righty Brad Keller might be worth inking at the right price after another good season in terms of results, but the landmine detectors (5.24 SIERA, for example) are flashing red. A long-term arrangement with Adalberto Mondesi or even Hunter Dozier could deliver huge upside, and certainly ought to be considered, but the organization should pull hard on its leverage given the ongoing uncertainty with those players.
3. Chase Some Upside In A Free Agent Signing
There are lots of problems on the Royals roster. How could there not be? It doesn’t matter so much where the team decides to add — first base, middle infield, outfield, pitching of all varieties — as that it does so boldly. At least, it’s worth a serious attempt. Having already endured the bulk of the payroll hangover from the team’s recent run of success, there’s some payroll space to play with.
Last year, the organization inked one-year deals with Billy Hamilton, Chris Owings, Jake Diekman, Brad Boxberger, Terrance Gore, and Kyle Zimmer. Those signings more or less flopped completely, though such is life when it comes to this kind of dealmaking. It was generally a defensible group of signings, including some younger players who had shown real talent in the past along with easily flippable veteran relievers.
Continuing to make those kinds of signings is sensible, when the opportunities are there. But why not also ramp up the risk factor just a bit on a multi-year deal? Yasiel Puig, Avisail Garcia, and Corey Dickerson are interesting corner outfield targets; Alex Wood and Michael Wacha might like pitching in Kauffman. If any of those players struggle to find adequate arrangements elsewhere, they could be bailed out with a deal that spans multiple campaigns at a low-ish AAV — thus increasing the future trade value in the event that the anticipated bounceback comes to pass. With most of the market preferring to spend more for less years, there could be opportunities to swim against the tide and acquire somewhat higher-ceiling talent.
I thought you said you were limiting these columns to realistic needs. They’re not trading Whit. We can debate whether they should until you’re blue in the face, but it isn’t going to happen/
I don’t know. We’ve heard that said about other players before they were dealt. Perhaps they have quietly considered it in the past … or it could be that ownership had a role in the prior stance.
Yes but how many people had Dayton Moore traded after calling them untouchable? Greinke is the only controllable Star player he’s ever traded and Zach demanded a trade.
While you lost me at the name Jeff Todd….
1. Whit Merrifield is a .300 hitter at 30. That is his game. It’s not speed. It’s not his glove. Kauffman stadium is generally considered the most hit friendly park in baseball…. and most Home Run unfriendly. Oh yea, and there’s that whole thing where guys who average .300 in their late 20s… go on to average .300 into their mid-late 30s.
So let me get this straight…. just to make certain I understand your logic… we should trade away the best hit producer in baseball, from a team that depends on lots of hits to win games… in an era when most squads are blowing their dough on Home Runs… because we might get some prospects who likely won’t produce remotely close to Merrifield?
Yea…. No. Enough already. Merrifield’s skill – lots of hits – is the market inefficiency – and NO ONE is currently producing more than Merrifield. Stop with this foolishness already..
2. You then follow that argument up with suggesting we extend Soler (a guy who can’t defend, or hit at a high percentage – whose entire value is built around something that doesn’t happen in our ballpark – the Home Run), Mondesi (a guy whose yet to play an entire season), and Keller (who you even admit hasn’t proven he’s worth extending)?
I guess we could discuss extending Dozier – the one guy you could make a justifiable argument for – make him a Merrifield deal.
3. Chase a guy in free agency? Hmmm…. In recent memory, Free Agents have mostly bombed – not just for the Royals, for everyone. Free Agents are as mixed a bag as draft picks or prospects. Need I remind – this logic is what brought us Omar Infante?
I agree with you. I don’t see Dayton trading Whit Merrifield. We have prospects that are coming along in the system….The next wave just won a championship in Wilmington. Four minor-league Affiliates all together won championships (One of them was actually a back to back.) And another one, (Wilmington) Reminded me of the 2015 Royals…they came back after getting down 0-2 In the Division series…And Then won three straight….to Make it to the championship series… And in the championship they were about to be Eliminated after losing the third game….But they persisted & won game four and five…Just like the Royals did in their ALDS in 2015. I’d say we scouted pretty good this time….The pitching we’ve drafted has done pretty darn good. Three top 100 prospects, Two of them are pitching.
I’m not coming into burst your bubble as I
Am a fan of a rebuilding team as well but 3 top 100 prospects is absolutely nothing. My team (Orioles) have four and we are certainly years off from contending.
Trading Whitt is the smart move. Speed is his game. He’s getting older and this royals team isn’t close.
Well I’ll trust what the top 100 says. Especially since one of the pitching prospects that was just drafted last year (2018) was promoted to AA this year, that means he’s not too far away.
How am I in anyway disagreeing with what any prospect evaluator says? I commented on 3 guys in the top 100 not being a significant amount. It is not a significant amount at all. Look no further than your own decision. The Tigers have 3 pitchers in the top 100 right now. They had I believe 5 last season before Faedo, Burrows and Perez’s stock dropped.
Which is my point. Prospects bust and KC certainly does not have an abundance. I can appreciate an optimistic POV on things but I think you’re setting yourself up for a huge let down.
royals weren’t down 0-2 in the 2015 lds. they split the first 2 games, lost game 3
and the alcs? royals actually won games 1 and 2, before losing game 3 (heck, they then crushed the jays in game 4).
maybe you meant 1985 (no lds back then), where the royals in both the lcs and world series rallied from down 2-0 and 3-1 to win
It doesn’t matter whether they trade him or not, the column is called “Three needs”. The point is one of their greatest needs is more young, controllable players with upside. Whit is the currency they have to make that happen.
And trading him away is realistic. We see players get moved who we believe are untouchable. This, since it’s happened before it makes it a possibility.
I don’t know why you all are trying to convince me we should trade him. I don’t disagree with the baseball sense, I’m just saying Dayton Moore does.
I like Whit and think guys like him (contact hitters) are underrated but you have to ask yourself, “is it wise NOT to trade a soon to be 31 yo player whose game is dependent on his speed”? He can easily be another Ellsbury story.. Not in terms of his injury but another case of a speed oriented player whose game slipped as their ability to steal bases eroded.
I don’t watch a lot of KC games but him dropping from 45 SB with a 82% success rate to 19 SB with a 66% success rate has to be alarming. To go along with his slight dip on his BB rate from 8% to 6% which is in tune with his career numbers.
It would be interesting to see what he could fetch but moving him in the near future seems like the right thing to do. KC doesn’t look like they’ll be a strong contender in the next 3-4 years.
Whit talked about it. He’s made a conscious decision to not be as aggressive with Mondi and Soler behind him. I’m sure he’s lost a step too.
Thanks. That might explain why his attempts are down but not why he’s been caught stealing so often. He went from a success rate in the 80% range to about 60%.
I think part of the reason his success rate is down is that he doesn’t have Rusty Kuntz in his ear at first base. No knock on Mitch Maier, but Kuntz was a baserunning (and outfield positioning) guru. Another is that he was a marked man on the bases due to his 2 straight SB titles.
Whit keeps himself in excellent condition and is a good glove man at several positions. I’m not sure the return we could get would be all that people think it might….and if I recall…a certain 34 year old 2B/OF was a huge part of us winning the WS in 2015.
Whit’s contract is still too affordable. he is not going anywhere.
@DarkSide830 The fact that his contract is affordable makes him even more of a trade asset as it opens up the trade market as all 29 other teams can afford his salary.
Does it make sense to keep the soon-to-be 31 yo when your team is only winning 70 wins or less?
my point though is i think his contract is so affordable that he’s too valuable to be traded. i dont think anyone would offer a package that truely is worth it given how good the deal is.
Plus he likes it here
also, shoutout to that one guy in vegas who probably threw away a few bucks on the lottery-ticket chance Soler would win the AL home run crown.
Royals need to turn assets into system depth, high upside positional player and pitching. Starting with Merrifield beyond logical. Locking him in on that team friendly extension monetizing via prospects that excess value is critical. Finding a team that needs versatility & has system depth plus high upside prospects is a priority. Athletics, Padres strike me as 2 logical partners.
Soler / Junis / Keller all have value but so does Ian Kennedy. I’d look into moving Kennedy for a similarly sized negative value contract plus prospects.
Extending Dozier might turn him into either a core piece or next offseasons Merrifield. These late bloomers really can’t afford to risk decline in Yr to Yr Arbitration.
I’d also market Scott Barlow.
Hopefully Royals new Ownership gets the TV deal finalized then focuses on rebuilding towards another Championship. Royals fans arguing to keep Merrifield are delusional. Think about it… Royals didn’t tank in 2019 and still lost over 100 games. 2nd straight Yr they’ll pick in the Top 4.
Thinking aloud… Could Mondesi be the future Center Fielder when Witt is ready? And Soler’s value on the market won’t be huge. I could see a fit in Boston if JD Martinez leaves or in Miami?
I can’t see mondesi in CF. I see someone like Kyle isbel there. I also could see I also could see Whit in centerfield next year with bubba in RF.
What do you mean we DIDN’T tank? Good grief! you mean the royals should’ve had like 115 losses ? It’s bad enough that we had Salvy out for the entire year. I would NOT want Detroit’s record. Do you think they lost that many on PURPOSE?
I don’t think the Royals are going to trade Jorge Soler. The Royals FINALLY have a power hitter & you think they should get rid of him? Maybe sometime earlier this year I would’ve agreed, but not now!
Everyone is a power hitter this season.
No the reason we trade for him is because we were told he had power.
And if everyone was a power hitter Alex Gordon would have 25 homeruns
You’re far too optimistic here. I don’t think you’re really living in reality when it comes to the timeline of your team. Mondesi took a huge step backward. O’hearn probed he was a one year wonder. Sure, Soler took a big step forward and Dozier might be a player moving forward but those are the two cheapest commodities in baseball. Defensively limited power hitters.
Outside of Keller I don’t think there’s one long term major league starter on your team right now and the bullpen aside from Kennedy is very bad.
3 top 100 prospects isn’t a lot at all. Given the high bust rates in prospects you’ll need a hell of a lot more than that to compete. That’s before considering your best prospect is 18 years old and won’t sniff the majors for at least 3 years.
Realistically I think the only question is which one of the Orioles, Marlins, Royals, or Tigers will successfully rebuild their team first. It’s going to be years for all those squads and my money certainly would not be on KC today.
Bobby Witt is 19, He turned 19 just a few days after the draft
That’s not even close to the point at all. Whether he was 19,18 or 17 he’s playing in rookie ball. But I don’t think you’re open to another viewpoint. I have nothing against KC but they aren’t even close to being a playoff contender for the foreseeable future. Not unless they find about 4 more Whit Merrifield’s out of nowhere.
jbigz12 mondesi didn’t take a huge step back. Yes it batting average is in the .260’s but he also is leading the al in triples and second in stolen bases with missing about half the season and seperating his shoulder twice
Show Me Your Tatis
How are the Padres a logical trade partner?
Because they have a huge farm system? But now that you fired Andy green, that means you really want to compete better.
Show Me Your Tatis
They have Luis Urias. They don’t need to overpay for a 30 y/o 2nd baseman.
Actually he’s not that expensive but he also plays more than second. He’s cheaper than Hosmer.
Show Me Your Tatis
I meant they don’t need to overpay in prospects for a 30 y/o 2B. Nor do they need to overpay in prospects because a guy makes Royals fans feel all warm and fuzzy.
Whit is a big fan favorite and I don’t think the new owner wants to see a half empty stadium because they decide to trade Witt for some unproven “prospects” that won’t be available for like seven years because they won’t be developed very fast. Whit is not going anywhere.
And I see you didn’t even mention PITCHING!
With mondesi’s injury history I definitely would not extend him right now.
I go to Royals games on a regular basis. Even with Merifield that stadium is way less than half full.
It’s funny that you suggest my top two pitchers on my Royals fantasy team. I’d love to see both Wood and Wacha in royal blue next year.
only if it means no Sparkman. i’m not replacing danny duffy, mike montgomery or junis/keller with wood or Wacha.
plus, they may NOT want to pitch in a smaller market than cincinatti / saint louis.
KC is a larger market than Cincy, not by much, but still larger.
Wood is held back by Great American Smallpark, Kauffman would be a career boost. But he needs to simplify his windup, or hes just going to keep having shoulder and elbow injuries.
Wacha is probably the odd man out of the rotation in StL next year, especially if Carlos Martinez is back in it.
KC rotation is much more appealing than middle relief anywhere.
Regarding the slight but noticeable loss in speed – while his sprint speed has dropped from 29.0 ft/sec in 2018 to 28.6 ft/sec in 2019, his home to 1st time went from 4.23 to 4.22, and 4.22 just so happens to be his home to first time in 2017 as well. I’m not sold on Merrifield having lost speed. He may be conserving himself, as he’s playing for a terrible team, but when he has to go all out he is every bit as fast as he has been throughout his career.
@thinkblech Speed isn’t the only factor into having a high SB success rate. When the rate drops and he’s 19 SB vs 10 caught stealing that’s 19 times he advanced from one base to the other and 10 times when he was on base and made an out. Maybe you give him another year to see if it returns but the Royals would be reckless if they didn’t at least listen to offers on him.
we don’t need to sign Puig. isn’t he the one that got traded shortly after he started a fight in cincinnati? you’re talking replacements for Gordon, if he retires, right?
McBroom or starling could play the corner outfield positions. we already have them on the roster.
I’m done with Bubba….no thanks. McBroom can stick around for now. He’s shown some promise. If they do keep Bubba, he needs to be the new version of what Dyson used to be…defensive replacement/pinch runner and an occasional start in the outfield.
If we are able to trade Whit and get value…then great. But from the buzz, there have been little to no offers that would make sense for trading him. Why even entertain the idea until there’s at least been a hint that someone would give us value in return? Seems silly. You keep Whit (unless someone wows you) and try to get value from smaller trades for possibly under-appreciated (or under-developed) assets. That’s all you can do.
Also, small market or not, I think all assumptions on how the Royals “should spend” or be careful with when/how they spend on FA’s and extensions is a complete unknown – we have NO IDEA how John Sherman will run the team. I’m not even sure you can make realistic suggestions until he’s established the degree to which he’s OK with losing some money over a sustained period, losing games over a sustained period, etc.
Here’s the simple top 3 for moving forward until Singer, Kower, Lynch, Bubic, et-all are ready.:
1. Starting Pitching – Too many of our guys with minor league options aren’t being pushed and frankly, haven’t earned spots their spots so much as filled vacancies.
2. Bullpen Pitching – I love some of our minor league power arms, but I think we’re 1 year away from most of them making up a solid bullpen. Need some relievers to bridge us until 2021.
3. Manager – sure…they don’t affect the game as much as the roster, but a bad manager can really muck things up at this stage of the rebuild. This hire needs to be a triple, if not a home run..
I don’t think anyone is going to offer the type of prospects we would need. We don’t really have any super utility players in the minors right now. I think they might be trying to turn Brady McConnell (drafted as a SS) into one, Since he’s playing the outfield in instructional league, but other than that we don’t really have a super utility guy that can play SIX positions. Especially when you need a player in an emergency situation like just this past Sunday. mondesi Hurt his shoulder again, very early in the game. whit Merrifield switched to second From the outfield while Nicky Lopez Went over to shortstop. Back when Mondesi originally hurt his Shoulder, The same thing happened….Whit went over to second while Nicky Lopez switched over to short. The Royals were actually better than their record showed this year. Pitching was a major problem….And there were some pitchers that blew a couple of games that may have been a win.
1. A winning team
2. New city
For those of you that say the Royals shouldn’t trade Whit please explain your logic? Fans don’t go to see him play, he’s at his highest trade value now and he will only decline and lose trade value the older he gets. IMO it’s foolish not to trade him now and replenish the farm. Rankings are just that rankings but all the teams in the AL Central have much better farm systems than the Royals. The quality talent they do have in the minors is pitching – thanks to the 2018 draft class but little else. They have nothing to lose by trading him and everything to gain. I know Dayton Moore has said he won’t trade him but I think he should strongly reconsider this stance.
Because again they wouldn’t get the value back for him. They have him on an extremely cheap contract and they will have a formidable offense next season with Salvador back. Free agency focus will for sure be on pitching and if they can snag 3 or 4 serious pitchers this team could find themselves fighting for a wild card. They don’t need top 100 prospects to win. The royals find ways to win that aren’t the flashiest.
. They absolutely need top prospects to win. Did you just forget that Gordon, Moose, Hosmer, Gordon, Ventura, LoCain, and Salvy were all considered top prospects? The Royals didn’t win a championship with a bunch of B level prospects coming through their system. It took a long time to build and it took a hell of a lot of top prospects and trades of top prospects to make it happen.
I don’t get it. You’re acting like the Royals have had success with a bunch of not highly regarded prospects. That’s a completely false narrative. That Royals team was built on top prospects and was propelled over the top by the trade of additional top prospects. the style of play the royals won with may have been different but it sure as hell wasnt won with a bunch of under the radar guys.
I’ve heard “his value is at it’s highest” for at least 2 years now…but he still improves. Whit’s best position is 2B. Next best is CF…but he played a lot of RF this year and his defensive numbers took a hit. He didn’t play much LF because of Alex but if he retires look for Whit to move there and do very well.
This is a business and, as much as I like Whit, new ownership should definitely be telling DM to listen to offers and if there’s anything worth taking, you take it. He’s a valuable asset for any team on a team-friendly contract. He isn’t a spring chicken either. This team needs to think about the future, and Whit won’t be the same player at that point.
Hang on to Whit just like the Pirates did with Josh Harrison
Mendoza Line 215
Josh Harrison was one of the leaders on the Pirates.They did not have any this year and look what happened.He was also an all star in 2017.They realized that he was done in 2018 and tried to trade him but had no offers from contenders at the trade deadline last year.
He is a great guy but injuries have reduced his effectiveness to the point that he may not even get a minor league offer next year,
So the general feeling is that a new owner’s first most public move should be to trade the franchise’s most popular player? In Kansas City, where fan identification with players is likely as huge as anywhere else. With some VERY possible changes coming in the new CBA that will alter the Revenue Sharing landscape, and might make Whit more valuable a year from now than he is now (because of the contract)?
Can’t see it. It might make baseball sense, the teams don’t always operate on baseball sense alone. The new sheriff in town doesn’t close the town well as his first act.
Whit screams KC with the way he conducts himself, a reminder of when EVERYBODY (especially Royals) played like Whit Merrifield. Obviously if they get floored, they do it; but I can’t see them getting floored with an offer. A GOOD offer maybe, but not a knockout.
They average 18K a night Sucking with Whitt. How much is sucking without him going to cost them? He’s coming off something of a down year and if he really is that inefficient at stealing bases then the offers won’t be great. For that reason they might keep him. No analytically inclined FO would even want Merrifield running with that success rate.
But that’s exactly why he should have been dealt last November. Can’t change that now. They certainly could’ve added multiple top prospects at that time.
its September & many have switched over to the chiefs. they also complain about ticket prices, parking costs & concession prices.
Salvy returning next season will bring a few more fans back.
Not sure Whit Merrifield is what draws the fans to the park.
Not sure how 201 hits, 16 home runs, 9 triples and 2 inside the park home runs is a down year but whatever
Not making a sound roster decision because you are worried about your own player’s popularity—especially when that stadium is less than half full already—is asinine and will only perpetuate the losing. Had they traded Hosmer, Moustakas and Cain the year before they hit the open market, the Royals would be much closer to regaining the success they experienced in ‘14 and ‘15. This mentality also caused them to resign Gordon at a price that only exacerbates the problem.
we had no one to play those positions if we had traded them. And by not trading them we got compensation picks for Cain & hosmer….daniel lynch & jackson kowar. kowar was promoted to AA this year.
We didn’t have anyone to play centerfield because the one outfielder that was a back up had broken his leg in AAA. Brandon moss was our only option for first base (Would you seriously have wanted to curse the Royals to have Brandon Moss at first?). And Cheslor Cuthbert had hurt his wrist early in July so trading moose would’ve left us with no one to play third because Hunter Dozier was also hurt in AAA at the time. Whit Merrifield was playing second.
Alex Gordon’s contract ends this year & I believe that homerun to tie the game in the ninth first game of the World Series was so worth the contract….Plus his defense was A lot better than what we had available in the minors.
One of the reasons Revenue Sharing has to change with the new CBA is that, at the same time, RS fails to reward small teams enough for success while it fails to punish them enough for failure. The spread between revenues for the Royals from the glory days of 2015/2016 and today is about 20M, per Forbes’ numbers. Contrast that with the 100M the Red Sox’ revenues will decrease just this year from last.
Ya, theoretical percentages evens the landscape, but you buy Fenway Franks with real dollars, not theoretical ones. And you can buy 5 times as many with 100M vs. 20M.
So a lot of the financial discussions are moot. Moore can be criticized for many of the decisions he made; indeed, I did so. But they were understandable, and at least a bit more palatable than just jettisoning players because of their costs (which MOST trades are really all about).
KC’s issue is that they haven’t drafted well, and that’s been the case for a while. You would think that with Moore’s scouting background, that wouldn’t have been the case. But there’s not much in the system, and almost zero impact talent.
Trading Whit MIGHT make that situation better from a quantity standpoint, but you’re not going to get impact talent for Whit Merrifield. He’s worth more on the field for them than any mid-range propsects he’d return.
If you can get solid minor league assets for Merrifield, now’s the time to do it.
If the new manager needs a glue guy, DM should be familiar with Martin Prado, who (if healthy) could give you 250 PAs a season, play both corner OF and IF positions, and provide the elusive clubhouse leadership … for a lot less than Merrifield would cost.
Just a thought.
Prado is 35 years old. How is it better to get someone who is four years older than Whit?
The royals offense is strong and no reason to trade whit. A lineup of whit, mondesi, Dozier, soler, salvy, Gordon and Nicky Lopez (who could easily be a 300 hitter next year) is a postseason caliber lineup. They would be a few average bats away from wild card contention and one good bat away from division contention. Now pitching is a different story. If the royals under new ownership can get 3 to 4 serious arms they could really start looking like a threat. No reason to trade whit. Too good of a player on too good of a contract and he’s a perfect royal in the way he plays.
Jpeezy you need to take off those homer goggles. The Royals had the 26th ranked offense in baseball this season. What you think is a really good offense and what in reality is a really good offense are two different things.
Good grief, this article is so far off the mark. Waste of time.
Lost in the shuffle of the “trade any good player for prospects” noise is the fact that all but one of KC’s minor league clubs won championships this year. Could it be the “experts” are slightly off in their calculations regarding the Royals’ farm system?
Or minor league championships aren’t as important as you believe. And that’s not even factual because the AA nor the AAA teams won a championship. that’s just off the top of my head I would imagine they had more affiliates who did not as well. If you want to read into a minor league championship, go right ahead. Simply having a number of older guys can influence minor league championships. Some teams do not rush guys in their system and have better lower level minor teams.
The Kansas City Royals have very quickly improved their everyday team on the field to be a good one. But, they have two pitchers: Jakob Junis and Ian Kennedy.
This is no mystery; the Royals need pitchers.