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Kansas City Royals off Season Report
- Updated: November 26, 2008
For many other teams, posting a 75 win season isn’t exactly a cause for excitement, but for the first time in a while, the Royals were able to dig themselves out of the bottom spot in the American League Central. They finished fourth, but some improvement is better than none. The good thing for the Royals is that much of their talent that they have accrued over recent years is due to their high draft selections are nearly ready to consistently contribute at the big league level. For the first time in what seems like ages, the Royals are attempting to make moves to help the move up the latter in the American League.
Holes to Fill
As with many of the other teams discussed in these wrap ups, the Royals primary need is power and they will be looking to add some in the corner outfield positions. Kansas City has already been active in the off season trade market, but not all of their deals have received rave reviews from critics. They may also be looking for some help in the bullpen, but they have some young arms that could be coming up to help in that area. Addressing this by a mid-level free agent pick-up would make sense and would probably be right in the Royals’ spending wheel house.
Like their division rival, the Cleveland Indians, the Royals have no free agents to worry about this off season. The only decisions they have to make concerning players already on their roster (besides whether to trade them or not) is whether to pick up the club option on Miguel Olivo. In terms of spending in free agency, it does not seem that they have really targeted anyone at this point. Their major possibilities would be to pick up a platoon player for one of the corner outfield positions or a mid-level reliever as discussed earlier.
The Royals have no doubt started to attempt to follow the trends set by the A’s, Twins and Rays over the past half decade to be able to compete, but fans of the blue and white will have to wait a little longer to see a marked improvement. It is hard to imagine them winning much more than 75 games as they did last year as their starting pitching would have to probably go the entire year without any major injuries to make this happen. The Royals may be looking to add one or two more veterans to balance the team out for all of the young players to have someone to look up to and learn from. Some may claim that’s overrated, but all of the recent teams who have built themselves up from nothing to something have had a few of those players on their team. If they stay on the track they are headed, they could realistically improve to vie for the division titled a few years down the road, but that time is not here yet. If the Tigers falter again, they could finish in fourth yet again, but, once again, it’s hard to see them climbing any higher than that.
Off Season Moves Made So Far
The Royals have been possibly the most active team this off season as they have wheeled and dealed their way through the first month of non-competition. Of course the deal that has had the most buzz this off season has been the Royals’ trade with the Boston Red Sox for Coco Crisp. While they sent off reliever Ramon Ramirez, the Royals still benefited from making this deal. Crisp will be their starting center fielder and everyday leadoff hitter and they only had to give up a reliever to get him. Even though Ramirez had a decent season last year, Crisp fits the needs of the Royals much better. They also made another trade when they sent pitcher Leo Nunez to the Florida Marlins for first baseman Mike Jacobs. This trade has not made a lot of news, but the Royals have also not gotten many good reviews for making it. While Jacobs may fill a hole in their line-up, Nunez was a good resource for pitching, and some have suggested they made the trade just to make a deal.