The Royals are still grinding through a rebuild and are undergoing a transition at the ownership level, so it never seemed likely they’d be big players on the open market. The club’s precise plans have remained a mystery, but we’re now finally beginning to get a sense of the shape of the Kansas City offseason.
Kansas City fans won’t likely see much in the way of exciting new talent in 2020, as Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets that the organization has a “very limited budget” to work with. A decent chunk of what the club has made available is expected to go to veteran outfielder Alex Gordon, with the remainder to be allocated to some pitching additions. That’s not an especially inspiring offseason wish list for an organization that hasn’t posted a winning record since its 2015 World Series-winning effort.
[RELATED: Kansas City Royals Offseason Outlook]
While some lean years always seemed likely to follow that push, the Dayton Moore-led front office has largely declined to cash in veterans when opportunities have arisen. Players such as Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Whit Merrifield, and even Salvador Perez would for many teams have been trade bait. Even as the team has strongly indicated a desire for a quick bounce back to relevance — it has touted recent collegiate draft selections and there was even mid-season chatter in 2019 of a Wild Card run — it has been difficult to envision that happening based upon the present assemblage of talent.
The concept of a quick revamping would seem to call for some infusion of MLB talent from outside the organization. But that’s not the only way the club can spend money this winter. Other reporting indicates that the club may believe in its budding new core, but will wait at least another year to add to it.
Though they won’t be spending to add from the outside, the Royals will consider plunking down cash to secure the services of existing players into the future, according to MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan (via Twitter). He lists Jorge Soler, Hunter Dozier, and Adalberto Mondesi as conceivable extension candidates. One might speculatively add hurler Brad Keller to that group as well.
Of that slate of possibilities for long-term deals, only Soler is nearing the open market. While the 27-year-old has finally hit his stride, it’s debatable how wise it would be to lock into a bat-first corner outfielder. But there’s certainly merit to pursuing a deal at the right price. The other players listed have even more still to prove, though Mondesi does offer tantalizing upside as an extension candidate.
It remains to be seen whether talks will advance. There won’t be much of an impact on the 2020 outlook regardless. (It’s not terribly promising.) The most interesting question remaining, then, is whether the Royals will make a dedicated effort to find deals to move Duffy, Kennedy, or (especially) Merrifield.
Let Gordon walk and trade Soler while his value is at the highest it’s ever been. Also consider trade opportunities for Merrifield.
They’ll probably keep both under this new ownership
I agree, gather more talent and build around Mondesi/Dozier
I would agree on Gordon (walk) and Soler (trade). I could go either way on Merrifield.
All teams need veteran leadership. Whether its your day job or a baseball team, Young people need dedicated people with experience to watch and learn from. If they don’t have that influence, they flounder. These veterans are professionals – not just young kids who can swing a stick or throw a ball. – they possess knowledge earned – and It’s hard to place a value on their mental importance to an organization.
The 2014 Royals needed Raul Ibanez to come in and set them right in the head. His presence changed that team.
Merrifield is this type of player. In his case, it doesn’t hurt that he hits .300 and is a utility fielder – Royals won’t ever trade Merrifield. That wouldn’t be in their best interest.
Gordon is this type of player. Yes, he’s getting older. No, he’s never been an upper echelon hitter. But his mental presence, his training regimen, and his defense are all things the organization can use to point to and encourage younger players to follow his leadership. You’re already into him for 4 million because of the buyout. If he wants to play, offer him a cheap, incentive laden deal – so his performance dictates what he receives.
Soler – seems like a nice kid and it was fun to finally see him develop. However, he doesn’t fit the Royals style of play. The Royals should offer him a long term team friendly contract to avoid arbitration and then turn around and trade him to the highest bidder.
Mondesi, and Keller – I’d be drafting long term, team-friendly contracts (that are back-loaded) for these individuals. Guaranteed money is a carrot that few players will walk away from. There’s too much risk in the current market for free agents – and for most players, playing with one team is of interest. At their ages, Mondesi and Keller could be signed to 9 year deals – that would give them guaranteed money and a position to age 34. Soler got 30 million for 9. Give them each around 40 million for 9. If they stink in their final years, so what?
Dozier- I’m all about the Merrifield deal. It is the right choice for the Royals to make these type of deals…. and I’d do the exact same with Dozier if he’ll sign it. He’s 28. Give him a 5 year (Team-friendly) deal with an opt out for year 6. If he doesn’t take it, he’s a fool.
You make several good points my friend Every team needs veteran leadership. But I honestly think Gordon should retire. he’s had some bad years. Why not walk away now while your on top, Gold Glove and all. The Future can be a Cruel mistress …… IF he were to come back on a “club friendly deal” he gonna e losing in my book 4 to 5 Million I don’t see KC Offering more than 10 for 1 year deal If he come back and he Bombs!!!… The Chants will start…..”should of retired”….. Best to walk away with your head high, than to risk fate.
You spoke of Soler, Yea he’s due for a “arbation bump” but that about all for now. Until the end of last year, many people hadn’t really noticed him, You recall he wasn’t invited to the HR Derby at the ASG. and right now people are questioning IF he would of won the AL HR crown if Trout was healthy. I agree we would benefit from a incentive friendly contract with him, Maybe 2 or 3 years, but I would go any farther, until we see how he does this year. Ned was quoted in ST… ” He has a very high ceiling”…. Now that the league has seen him lets see how they Pitch him this year,
I HAVEN’T heard any comments from any circles….”he is the next Mike Trout”..
The other thing about Soler is he has switched agents 3 times in the past 2 years. That send up a red flag to me. and says Money Hungry.. We honestly don’t know the reason he switched, but it bears watching from were I stand.
As far a Keller goes, I Not a Keller Fan he in my opinion hasn’t lived up to expectations. I cringe every time they give him the ball,>>> Enough said.
Bottom line KC needs to spend some cash this off season to get 1 semi Good Starter, and 1 good Bull pen guy. to hold us over until our next crop from the minors is ready.
That being said Don’t RUSH these guys to the show, just for the sake of winning Let Singer and them Come when they are ready.. NOT when we want them to. We’ve already had 4 or more instances of players rushed up cause we need-em. Bob Hamlin, Darrl Motley, MIke Finnigan, Clint Hurdle come to mind right away.
We’ve already endured Two 100 Loss seasons, 1 more won’t make much difference.
I just hope for their fans’ sake, that their farm is bulging with talent. It can be tough to watch a team struggle for years on end.
Like the tigers, orioles, and marlins
Struggle = lost the WS five years ago + won the WS four years ago.
Yea they love Merrifield. The Phils have been barking up that tree for over 2 years but the Royals value him like hes George Brett. I can see Soler being moved, however. I think they’re stuck with Kennedy unless they package him with Duffy to one of the teams that miss the starting pitcher parade in free agency.
You’re right. They need to trade him this off season so they can maximize the return and get more value. This team is never going to win a championship with Whit on the team under his current contract. He can’t help them now. His value could be exchanged to help them in the future though and they need to strike while the iron is hot. At his age the Iron is hotter than it will ever be again. The Royals should have to main goals for 2020. Goal #1) Don’t finish in last place because that would require the Royals to be worse than the Tigers which would mean the Royals become the worst team in baseball. Goal #2) Don’t let Mike Matheny destroy the arms of any of your pitchers. It feels like a stupidly obvious goal but when Matheny is your manager it becomes something the organization should actually try to protect against.
Aside from that… There is nothing. That is the absolute best Royals fans have to hope for next year other than taring apart this monstrosity of a minor league team do they can contend in the future the exact same way they did several years ago.
If anything, attaching Duffy brings down Kennedy’s value.
Merrifield is making too little money and playing too well. that contract is untradable in a good way – its not worth trading it.
That’s what makes it extremely tradable. Do you think the Royals are the only team that noticed how much value Whit brings compared to team cost? No. Every other team realizes that too. That means other teams are willing to give the Royals several other prospects that have a high probability of being successful major league players further in the future when that might actually make a difference in the Royals winning a championship. All Marrifield is doing for Kansas City right now is insuring that their draft picks won’t be as high as they could be. Unless the Royals front office wants to keep him around to make the team “respectable” which is not a smart reason to give up an opportunity to gather truly helpful future prospects. Especially when the Royals aren’t going to be “respectable” even if they have Merrifield.
The Royals have some talented position players in the minors. I would hope they would continue to develop them and try to buy starting pitching. If there’s a starting pitcher to go after for Kansas City that won’t break the bank it might be Zack wheeler. No doubt he’s going to make a substantial amount but certainly not on the Cole and Strasburg level.
Yep, it seems totally rotten to partially rotten low hanging fruit will be the flavor of the offseason unfortunately. I see a signing spree of Lonnie Chisenhall, Tony Cingrani, Tyson Ross type players with their big splash being Jake Diekman…
That said if they aren’t going to be advantageous in outside player acquisitions, I’d rather them go a little extreme in the Rule5 draft (3-4 players) than the retread route.
Merrifield could fetch a solid return. It would make sense to deal him.
Was 2019 the real Hunter Dozier or just a lucky year?
It’s hard to say for someone has their first good year at the age of 27. That being said, as someone who’s seen nearly every single at bat of his, there’s nothing that indicates it’s a fluke. He was a 1st round pick, he had solid numbers in the minors, and even in 2018 he was near the top in the AL as far as average exit velo and hard contact rate, the results just weren’t there like they were this year. The only thing that really hurts him is his defense. I think his athleticism and arm make him a good candidate to be moved permanently to corner outfield.
If it were up to me, he’s the starting RF next year, with Whit in LF and Bubba/Phillips platooning CF. Then O’Hearn/McBroom 1b, Soler DH, Lopez 2nd, Mondesi SS, and Gutierrez 3b with Salvy and Viloria behind the plate. Any off-season acquisitions should be in the rotation. Let Duffy and maybe Junis move to the bullpen.
Looking forward to seeing who Dayton plucks out of the Bargain Bin.
He and Farhan have some arm wrestling to do this offseason.
The Royals farm stinks.
They need to sell hard and tank for several years.
They’ve been doing the latter pretty well already.
Your an idiot and know nothing if you think the Royals farm system stinks!!!!
What? Are you living in 2017? The Royals have vastly improved their farm system.. For a few years, yeah, pretty awful, with none to may one Top 100 prospect, but the past couple drafts and trades have greatly improved their farm. They have have 4 in the Top 100(as per MLB).
Is it a top 5? no, but I would call it in the top half. After those four (Bobby Witt Jr., Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar and Daniel Lynch) they have a slew of other intriguing players, such as Kris Bubic, Kyle Isbel, Khalil Lee and Jonathan Bowlan.
I would suggest doing some investigation before making an ill-informed statement
Merrifield’s skill set may indeed be more valuable if they start using the real baseball next year. And he’s always fit the Rays’ profile.
Something like Yonni Chirinos, Nate Lowe, and Mike Broussard…… there’s enough upside there….
I don’t think the Royals would even consider that offer.
No idea Soler hit 48 bombs. Juiced ball and all, but a lot playing in that park.
Their three infielders each had 10 triples. Has that happened lately? Ten for one guy is fairly impressive, but all three? Again, juiced ball in a big stadium I guess.
I think that they believe the pitchers they drafted in 2018 are going to start to make an impact this year and become the core of the starting staff of the future. I also think that they believe their core lineup of Whit, Mondi, Dozier, Soler, Lopez along with Perez and one of the Ryan’s will be good enough to build around when said pitching is in place. Not saying that I agree, but I think that is what they believe. Gordon is just coming back to play one last year before he hangs it up and gets his number retired (which I think is a stretch, but I’m pretty sure they will do that soon after he retires). Moore is loyal to a fault, and this plan seems very much like him.
Trade for Chris Archer ,sign someone like Felix Hernandez or Wade LeBlanc . Pick up another infield bat , bring back dyson to sell tickets , ride out the season , if under 500 at the break , trade everyone
dyson would sell tickets?
Yeh , he was loved here just about as much as Hosmer or Gordo tbh . Believe it or not
You would not have to trade for Archer. I am sure the Bucs would give him away
I’d try and trade Kennedy while he’s playing well. You can’t expect 2 more seasons of competence.
An interesting trade would be something like Kennedy to SD for Hosmer (beloved in KC), either Margot or Perdomo (change of scenery), and prospects. Padres dump Hosmer’s ridiculous contract, and Hosmer goes somewhere that he can hit for league average numbers and not get booed.
Kennedy is making $15M/yr for 2 years and Hosmer an average of $17M/yr for 6 years, so the salary dumping is at least kinda mutual.
15 of our players, over 1/2 the team filed for free agency on the 4th of Nov,
Present roster : http://www.milb.com/roster/index.jsp?sid=milb&cid=541
shows 6 players.This does not include yesterdays signing..
Now I know that Minors contracts are done on a yearly basis. but were is the loyalty I ask? Do these guys want to be Royals? Or are they just there for the money?
Minor League Baseball Realignment “Proposal”
KC would LOOSE 3 teams.
Legends,Burlington Royals, and Idaho Falls.
The Minor League Teams That Could Lose M.L.B. Ties
Under a new proposal, 42 minor league teams would have their affiliations with major league clubs severed. Here is a list of the teams that would be affected.
By The New York Times
Nov. 16, 2019
A Major League Baseball proposal would drastically alter the landscape of minor league baseball, severing the major league affiliations of 42 teams in the lower levels of the minors. Some of those teams have been part of their communities for generations, like the Chattanooga Lookouts, whose roots date to 1885; some are playing in stadiums built as recently as 2008, when the Billings Mustangs’ Dehler Park opened.
M.L.B. contends that the reorganization is necessary to make the minor leagues more efficient and to improve conditions and facilities, but many officials associated with the teams see it as an existential crisis for their organizations.
The count down is on,None Royals designated for assignment four players: Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio, catcher Nick Dini, and right-handers Conner Greene and Arnaldo Hernandez. have left yet. Only 2 days left…..
When a player’s contract is designated for assignment — often abbreviated “DFA” — that player is immediately removed from his club’s 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.
I expect KC to Release Bonifacio. and try and keep (out right to minors) the others. the fact that they are still here is a good sign. Meaning nobody else wants em.