Kansas City Royals: Do Not Be Too Fast to Write Off 2017

KANSAS CITY, MO - MAY 29: Eric Hosmer
KANSAS CITY, MO - MAY 29: Eric Hosmer /

The Kansas City Royals have had a rough season thus far. However, it’s way too early for fans to be throwing in the towel and talking trades. There’s still time for this team to turn the season around.

For the Kansas City Royals, it’s clear 2017 has not been the season dreams are made of. After 50 games, the Royals sit in fifth place in the American League Central, 6.5 games  behind the Minnesota Twins. After Monday night, the team was dead last in the American League, 5.5 games out of a Wild Card slot.

Injuries to Ian Kennedy and Nate Karns have also hampered the Royals’ attempts to return to the Postseason. That’s before the startling news that Danny Duffy is out of commission for six to eight weeks with an oblique strain suffered against the Indians.

Many have resigned themselves to the fact that it’s only a matter of time until the team is broken up. I’m not certain that will be the case. I would be less shocked to see Dayton Moore stand pat with how things stand right now.

I know that statement probably makes me sound ludicrous, especially when you consider the offseason trades of Wade Davis and Jarrod Dyson.  However, I deeply believe that Dayton Moore wants to and will let this season ride out. That is, unless the wheels completely fall off for the Kansas City Royals in the next month.

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Don’t Expect the Royals to Act Rashly

Many reporters in Major League Baseball have already see the Royals as sellers at or before the deadline.  I agree it’s within the realm of possibility the Royals could make a move but I just don’t believe it will happen.

Call me a homer if you like, but I believe Dayton Moore and Ned Yost still think this team can compete. If the team does fall out of playoff contention, Moore isn’t going to trade the team’s best assets for pennies on the dollar. Experts such as ESPN’s Buster Olney and Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal have already said as much.

It’s completely possible that the Royals may be valuing our players at a higher value than the rest of the market. If that is the case, why give up Eric Hosmer or Mike Moustakas for less than optimal value? Many fans already believe the Royals were losers in the Wade Davis – Jorge Soler trade/ Therefore, why get fleeced on additional trades this season?

Prior to this season, the Royals stood to collect quite the bounty of compensation picks after 2017. With the new CBA now in effect, the Royals will find it harder to recoup potential losses. That is, unless their free agents sign for more than $50 million.

While it will be harder, it’s not impossible. Hosmer, Moustakas, and Lorenzo Cain could all sign big free agent contracts with other clubs this offseason. That would ensure the Royals those precious compensatory picks.

One final thought regarding free agency that is likely running through Dayton Moore’s mind. If the Royals trade their big free agents, what are the odds that they can sign them back in free agency?

The answer to that question would be slim to none. Unless you’re the Yankees with Aroldis Chapman, you don’t resign a player you traded the previous season. It’s unlikely for the Kansas City Royals to retain all their big free agents, but why shut the door on the possibility completely?

Royals Offense Beginning to Turn the Corner?

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I honestly believe the biggest issue for the Kansas City Royals in 2017 has been the lack of offense. Despite hitting more home runs and showing more power this season, the Royals have been stricken by a lack of consistency at the plate.

I believe the lack of offensive consistency is impacting the pitching staff negatively as well.  Royals pitchers have definitely felt the pressure to hold slim leads or to keep the score close.

I can see some evidence that things are turning around for the boys in blue on an offensive front. In fact, that evidence may be just enough to see the team stay together for the duration of 2017.

Eric Hosmer has recovered from a terrible April and currently owns the hottest bat on the team. Add in the trio of Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, and Salvador Perez and the Royals should have plenty of opportunities to get runners on base. In addition, Whit Merrifield and Jorge Bonifacio have proven they deserve to be daily starters at the major league level and are providing hits in the second half of the order.

If these six men show the ability to “keep the line moving”, there’s no reason the Royals can’t contend. That’s especially true when you consider the weaknesses of the American League Central this season.

Regardless of how the season plays out, the next few weeks for the Royals will be must watch. There are two likely outcomes. The Royals’ offense will continue to turn things around and chase hard after their third postseason berth in four years. The other being that fans will instead find themselves bidding an emotional goodbye to the team that made baseball matter in Kansas City again.