Someone may need to let the Kansas City Royals know that the offseason has begun. It’s been near radio silence for the team that finished 59-103 last season, which amazingly still placed them fourth in the AL Central thanks to the Tigers 47-114 record. Despite a quiet offseason, we’ll take a look at how this team will compete in 2020.
RP Chance Adams
3B Maikel Franco
Manager Mike Matheny
Manager Ned Yost
The biggest moves this offseason for the Royals came in the form of management and organizational changes. The team was sold to Kansas City businessman John Sherman while Mike Matheny, who previously managed the Cardinals, replaced Ned Yost. After managing the team since 2010 and amassed a 746-839 record, Yost announced his retirement. Matheny managed the Cardinals from 2012-2018 with a 591-474 record and four appearances in the postseason. He did take the Cardinals to the World Series in 2013 but the team lost to Red Sox in six games. The team will have a new feel to it during the season but does that mean it will turn into wins on the field? We shall see.
One of the moves the Royals did make was the signing of Maikel Franco. After spending his entire career with the Phillies, Franco will bring some pop to a Royals lineup that ranked 28th in the league in home runs. The move will also allow Hunter Dozier to move into the outfield, giving them more depth at the position, especially with Alex Gordon re-signing with the team. Aside from last season, we have seen Franco hit over 20 home runs, having done so in three straight seasons between 2016 and 2018.
The Royals have a number of top prospects in the minors that will soon fill their rotation. Getting to that point is going to be a bit of a challenge, however. They’ll operate with mainly the same rotation as last season with Brad Keller, Jakob Junis, Danny Duffy, Mike Montgomery and Glenn Sparkman. With the need for bullpen help another issue, Junis could find himself in a relief role. It did work with Ian Kennedy, who after being moved into the bullpen, made 30 saves for this team. This staff overall performed poorly last season and it’s likely they’ll be in the same position this season. With the pitchers waiting in the wings, however, this is a rotation that will be very, very competitive soon enough.
For a team that’s hardly made any moves, it’s hard to like them to win much more than the 59 games they did last season. The division has also gotten a bit tougher with the White Sox making some big moves this offseason as they look to compete with the Indians and Twins. Once again, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Royals near the bottom of the division for a second straight season, so taking the under on the win total of 64.5 feels the right way to handle this.
Kansas City Royals UNDER 64.5 wins
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