The KC Royals have been giving their fans an interesting offseason this winter.
Many thought the team would mostly stay intact and go for one last World Series title with the current group. Instead, guys have been traded, and it signifies the beginning of a new era Kansas City Royals baseball
When Dayton Moore took the job as the KC Royals general manager, he had this idea of developing guys in the farm system and those guys eventually leading the charge in Kansas City. The process would take time, but once the guys were ready to play, it’d be worth it.
Fast forward to the 2013 season, when the Royals had their first winning record in a decade. Fans knew that the next season would result in something special, and it did just that, with the team making it to the playoffs for the first time in 29 years and going as far as Game 7 of the World Series.
That fun run ended with a World Series title in 2015, but little did fans know that that might have been the end of an era in Kansas City Royals baseball.
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Injuries derailed the Royals’ victory tour season in 2016 and they went .500 on the year and missed the playoffs. It was a disappointing follow-up season, but now the 2017 season could prove to be an even more uneventful one with key players being traded and hurting the team’s chances of contending in 2017.
That part sucks, yes, but Moore’s end game here is to keep that window open past the 2017 season. In order to do that, popular players from the World Series era will have to be traded because there’s no way the Royals will get extensions for them past this season.
The first key guy to be sent away this offseason was Wade Davis, who was traded to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Jorge Soler. Soler is under club control for four years while Davis only had one year left on his deal and was showing signs of decline in 2016.
Trading Davis was a huge move because the Royals bullpen isn’t what it once was during those 2014 and 2015 seasons. Greg Holland isn’t running through that gate and now neither is Wade Davis. Kelvin Herrera is the only guy left from that ferocious H-D-H trio we came to know and love in 2014 and most of 2015.
The second key guy to be traded was Jarrod Dyson, who was sent to Seattle in exchange for pitcher Nate Karns. Despite not being an every day starter, Dyson getting traded might have been even tougher on Royals fans than Wade leaving.
Dyson was an energetic leader in the clubhouse and loved the fans. He came up with the “That’s what speed do” motto that fans latched onto during the 2014 playoff run and you just knew any time that Dyson came into the game that some bags were about to get stolen.
The Dyson trade, as sad as it was, actually was a pretty good trade for Kansas City. They essentially traded a fourth outfielder for a potential starting pitcher in their rotation.
Obviously Dyson meant more to the Royals than “just a fourth outfielder”, but you get the idea. He was a 32-year old backup outfielder that the Royals could trade for someone with more club control.
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Davis and Dyson were both traded for young guys that have several years remaining on their current contract. That shows that Dayton Moore is already thinking ahead to the future and isn’t content with 2017 being the last hoorah. In fact, 2017 might be another average season for the Royals, but they’ll have chances to contend beyond that now with young guys under club control.
Another big shock factor swirling out there is the rumor of Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas potentially being traded as well. These guys are the faces of the franchise, but if Moore doesn’t see a good chance at bringing them back beyond 2017, then it’s best to try and get something for them both now.
While it’ll be tough to see the stars of the 2014 and 2015 seasons go, Major League Baseball is a business. Dayton Moore is the general manager for a reason, and that’s because he knows what’s best for the team in the long run.
Trust the guy who got the Kansas City Royals a World Series trophy, folks. It might be tough seeing some of your favorite players get traded, but that’s how sports work.
If the Royals want to continue to be contenders, then they can’t get sentimental with their players and sign them to long-term deals they can’t afford. That’d likely lead to another long playoff drought and years of irrelevance once again. I don’t know about you guys, but I never want to experience that again with my baseball team.
While the recent trades have been sad for the fans on a personal level, it’s time to put that World Series championship season in the rear view mirror and move on. Those 2015 Royals aren’t walking through the door again and with the Cleveland Indians starting to peak, Dayton Moore can’t try and attempt to keep everyone who meant something to this franchise.