ROYALS 2017 PAYROLL: THE ROTATION
The Royals’ rotation was dealt a severe blow by the tragic death of Yordano Ventura. The rotation had some question marks before losing a talent like Ventura, and his loss hurt the team on a personal level as well as on the field.
After those three, things may get murky. There are several pitchers who might step up in Spring Training and grab those last two spots. The Royals certainly want someone to earn those spots and not have to fill them by default.
The candidates are numerous: Nate Karns, Jason Vargas, Matt Strahm, Mike Minor, Chris Young, and even Kyle Zimmer. Several of these players are recovering from injuries and might not be able to hold up under a starter’s workload.
Several who are left out of the rotation can be key figures in the bullpen this season. The last two spots are open to speculation, but here is one very possible scenario.
- Ian Kennedy – $13.5 million
- Danny Duffy – $5 million
- Jason Hammel – $5 million
- Nate Karns – $535,000
- Jason Vargas – $8 million
- TOTAL – $32,035,000
The reason Karns and Vargas are slated here is because the Royals traded for Karns to be a part of the rotation and Vargas was signed to be a starter. That doesn’t mean health won’t figure in, or, best case scenario, someone exceeds expectations in the Spring Training and earns one of these spots.
Matt Strahm could be the player that could pitch his way into this rotation, but for the makeup of this roster, he is probably a better fit for the bullpen in 2017.