In a few weeks, we’ll be running a two-team mock expansion draft here at MLBTR. Currently, we’re creating 15-player protected lists for each of the existing 30 teams. You can catch up on the rules for player eligibility here.
So far, we’ve done the Tigers, Indians, White Sox, Rays, Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Orioles. The Royals are next.
We’ll start by removing free agents Ian Kennedy, Alex Gordon, and Trevor Rosenthal.
I’ll lock down six players: Jorge Soler, Whit Merrifield, Adalberto Mondesi, Hunter Dozier, Brad Keller, and Salvador Perez. While there’s a case for leaving Perez unprotected, I don’t think the Royals would do that. Here’s the initial protected group:
That leaves nine spots for the following 25 players:
With that, we turn it over to the MLBTR readership! In the poll below (direct link here), select exactly nine players you think the Royals should protect in our upcoming mock expansion draft. Click here to view the results.
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if anyone protects Gallagher they should no longer come back to this site
Why? He’s certainly not a world beater offensive but from a catcher stand point he seems good defensively in limited action the last 2 years according to fangraphs. Over the course of 3 years he’s played roughly 80 games primarily blocked by Salvador Perez. He’s posted decent triple a walk rates and outstanding strikeout rates at that level.
Perez is a free agent after 2021. And it’s not like they have some young stud catching prospect waiting in the wings.
He’s controllable, if he posts similar walk and strikeout numbers he’s got value, and who knows he could be poised for a breakout if he’s given an extended look.
Not like Kansas City has anything to lose if they keep him and give him a shot.
They do have MJ Melendez that they are pretty high on.
In A Ball advanced and batted .163. He’s not even close to being major league ready by 2022.
Ha! He’s projected for 2021, even if not surely by 2022.
I don’t think he’s MLB ready yet
There’s also Sebastian Rivero and Meibrys Veloria. Melendez has eye popping numbers in the wrong way last year, but it’s a strikeout issue that can in theory be fixed. Tools are definitely there and he’s an elite defensive catcher. Both catchers on the sally league all star team in 2018 were from the Royals system (Melendez and Rivero).
Gallagher is a decent asset, but he not an mlb starting catcher. He would get selected to be a backup, but he’s replaceable.
They might brm
They might be tougher than the Tigers to pick from … sorry about the first comment I had a phone call as i was writing it
Just Cam Gallagher
Why are Singer/Lynch/Kowar/Bubic all left exposed? All of their ETAs are likely 2020 now with the shortened season.
In terms of auto-protecting players with no experience, I’ve simplified that by just including Baseball America Top 100 prospects with a 2020 ETA.
Lynch and Kowar have a 2021 ETA on there, so for consistency’s sake I won’t make the Royals protect them.
Singer was on the verge of breaking camp with the club.
I understand he was a candidate for the fifth starter job, but I feel it’s simpler to just have set criteria for this.
Tim, super interesting exercise.
Based on the players Left unprotected I’d be an interested in knowing how you will finalize the rosters. Would be interesting just to see overall talent left exposed, but at the same time that might not fit the economics as payroll matters. I know extra work, but would be curious at the end to see how roster construction might change compared to an unlimited budget vs maybe 100 million and and maybe 75 mil.
Also…if baseball did expand, could you see more of a regional system that almost mimics European soccer? Right now a team is expected to win the world series once every 30 years. For a lot of fan bases, it gives little to cheer for. It could become a thing instead of playoffs, it’s division and champions champions league sort of thing. It would seem to place greater emphasis on the regular season and the value of it while creating a secondary tornament of the best of the best
It would also create the opportunity to create a true world series. Other countries best teams could be added.
I’m not sure yet if we’ll give our expansion teams budgets. I’m guessing we’ll choose a lot of cheaper players. But the plan is to publish the list of unprotected players so everyone can think about what they would do. And then we’ll do a live event with me and Connor Byrne each drafting a team similar to the way the actual expansion draft was done.
Adding on to this idea: With 32 teams, the worst 4 are now AAA teams. The Tigers, Marlins, Orioles, and Royals are now in the Pacific Coast League/International League while Indianaplois, Gwinnett, El Paso, and San Antonio are now MLB Teams. Repeat every year. If they want back to the bigs, then they have to make the PCL/IL Finals.
Agreed. I did this exercise when this series started assuming those 4 would be protected. Otherwise the Royals don’t have 15 players worth protecting. I also protected Isbel and Lee. Maybe Isbel is too far away, but Lee is near MLB ready. Of those listed, I’d only protect Lovelady and Staumont. Maybe Duffy hoping he’s worth something tradewise.
Because they aren’t on the 40 man and I believe this is a poll of just those on the 40 man?
They can’t make up news. If you don’t like how they’re filling the void, feel free to go away.
Also Tim Hill should be polling way higher here. Him, Barlow, and Junis are the most valuable assets of the options by far.
I’m not a fan of Tim Hill and his side arm pitching.
why would anyone protect Danny Duffy? He’s getting paid like 18 mil a year. I feel like people just picked because that’s one of the only ones they knew
He’s a fine back of the rotation guy in my opinion but as he is due that large salary as you mention I don’t think any expansion team would take him. If he was making 10M per year less, then maybe, but not at his current salary
I don’t know if I would protect Kennedy. High dollar reliever. I think there are plenty of options on the list that could take his place.
I guess I glanced over the paragraph mentioning him
Plus he’s a free agent
I must protect Randy Rosario for he’s too nice of a person to be left behind.
Also, yesterday was his birthday!
Happy birthday, Randy!!!
Ian Kennedy is a free agent after this season so he doesn’t need to be protected.
Oops, you’re right. I’ll add an extra spot in the poll, FWIW.
As usual, I trend towards best baseball assets and care less about money.
– Barlow (good setup talent, potential closer)
– Franco (rebound candidate)
– Junis (useful SP)
– N. Lopez (gotta protect starting 2B)
– Phillips (somewhat useful 4th OF)
Franco is a rental piece so I wouldn’t protect him.
I believe Franco is still arb-eligible, so if he rebounds he’s easily kept
Frankly it’s hard to find 15 that I’d want to protect. And, I’m a Royals fan.
think you have 5 locks in Barlow, Guti, Nicky Lopez, Lovelady, and Staumont. from there id take Duffy and O’Hearn given they may bounce back, then Hill given he seems to have trade appeal. last spot comes down to McCarthy or Newberry, but i think ill stick with Newberry for the upside.
and for those wondering, yes i left Junis exposed. he’s trended down esch year since debuting and the Royals have better starters on the way, so it doesnt concern me to lose him.
2. Nicky Lopez
those poll results amaze me again. people really want to risk leaving guys like Barlow and Gutierrez exposed in favor of Starling, Zimmer, and Phillips?
I’m OK with Bubba starling but I could care less about Brett Phillips.
my gripe with Starling is that he is so high on the list. i could absolutely see him being protected, but i dont see him being one of KC’s priorities to protect
Starling (don’t hate, I just like his comeback story)
Lots of young options here, and I was basing my picks mostly off of potential. The only real “lock” I’d say is Junis, but other than that it’s a toss up. Not being a Royals fan doesn’t help either because if i’m being honest, I’ve never heard of Viloria or Staumont.
Staumont was a former top prospect
For some odd reason it still isn’t ringing a bell. As we do these “exercises” I’m starting to realize which teams I follow more than others, and I think I follow the Royals the least lol.
Staumont made his debut last year after we got rid of Wily Peralta I believe
Barlow, Gutierrez, Staumont, Lovelady, N. Lopez, Junis then flip a coin for the rest. Maybe protect Newberry too. As for Duffy, I don’t see an expansion team taking him. And I sure don’t understand all the love for Phillips. He’s a fun guy but can’t hit a lick. Can’t believe he polls higher numbers than a young guy who throws triple digits like Staumont. Pretty easy to guess which one an expansion team would take.
yeah i really question some of these results. seems like most people are selecting off of name recognition.
Staumont is trash. Can’t throw strikes. If a legit major leaguer like Duffy pitches well in first half, you can trade him to a contender for better prospect(s) than Staumont.
If you’re the Royals, I just don’t think you give away usable assets (however overpaid) if you can help it.
@Tim Dierkes when are y’all going to do the SF Giants?
Lol that’s gonna be one of the last teams if the pattern continues. They started in the A.L east and are working west, when they get to the N.L I’d imagine they go east to west also. About 2 weeks will be the Giants.
Ryan O’hearn for MVP
Someone please take Jorge Lopez!
why? Why do people hate Jorge Lopez?
because he’s garbage
This one was incredibly difficult because I wasn’t sure on a lot of these guy’s contract/years of control they had left. Ultimately went with the guys I’ve seen have some success against the Sox. I chose…
#1 – Danny Duffy
#2 – Jakub Junis
#3 – Tim Hill
#4 – Brett Phillips
#5 – Josh Staumont
#6 – Nicky Lopez
#7 – Ryan O’Hearn
#8 – Scott Barlow
#9 – Mike Montgomery