Kansas City Royals about to begin new era with new owner

Royals mascot Slugger waves the flag prior to the game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Kansas City Royals on Friday May 10, 2019 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Royals mascot Slugger waves the flag prior to the game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Kansas City Royals on Friday May 10, 2019 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Royals are about to begin a new era of baseball. David Glass is about to hand over ownership to John Sherman for a small fee of 1 billion dollars. There are many questions arising with the proposed new ownership deal.

Some questions have already been put on ice, such as: Is Sherman going to move the team out of Kansas City? That is a no. Will the Kansas City Royals move downtown? Not until at least 2030. What will happen to Dayton Moore or any of his staff? Who knows?

However, regardless of the outcome of any of the questions, one question stands before all else. How will Sherman’s Royals be built into contenders?

To start, John Sherman is in the perfect place to answer the question.

Unlike some owners who may come into the scene before or after the season, Sherman comes in with about a month of baseball left for the Royals. This situation bodes well to any plan he may ultimately unfurl.

Sherman can and should stand back and watch Dayton Moore’s staff work. Sherman does not have to do anything because this is still David Glass’ Royals. Any decisions now fall on Glass’ shoulders until November when the annual owners’ meeting is.

Therefore, the first part of the new blueprint should centered around watching and observing. For all we know, Sherman has already done this from afar.

In 2016, Sherman went from owning season tickets to the Royals to courting the Dolan family to ultimately being a minority owner for the Cleveland Indians. He has seen the Royals’ front office work as well as talked to baseball executives and insiders about the Royals from a competitor’s standpoint. He has already gathered that Dayton Moore is a well-regarded and respected baseball executive.

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Sherman will soon make the most important decision in (trying to) continue a relationship with Dayton Moore and his staff or let Moore go in favor of someone different. What works in Moore’s favor is his reputation within the game and that he built a World Series winning team from drafting smart and making the right trades.

He also has recent success with the last few drafts. These drafts included; Nick Pratto, M.J. Melendez, Jackson Kowar, Brady Singer, and Bobby Witt Jr. to name a few.

After Sherman figures out which front office direction to go, he will then need to decide which financial direction to go. It would be easy to spend big on free agents and build the team that way like some teams do, but has that strategy worked for the Royals in the past? The offseason of 2003 may offer some answers here.

In the offseason of 2003, the Kansas City Royals had signed some expensive free agents for the time in Kevin Appier ($300,000), Brian Anderson ($3.250 Million), Juan Gonzales ($4 Million), Matt Stairs ($1 Million), Benito Santiago ($2.150 Million), and Joe Randa ($3.250 Million) to name a few.

This group would only win 64 games and lose 98 games in the 2004 season. The 2004 season saw the Royals ranked 24th in team spending with the Yankees ranking number one, which the Yankees’ spending did not translate into a World Series win.

A good question Sherman may ask himself is whether splurging on a modest to big contract (now) would benefit the team or handcuff future moves? The Royals are clearly not going to compete for a World Series next season and the earliest shot of the next competitive Royals team will not arrive until 2021. Even then, there is no guarantee that the Royals will compete.

So, does spending crazy on a big contract to appease the fan base prove the needs of the organization? The answer is no. Spending big almost always doesn’t end well (Angels’ spending big on Albert Pujols a few years ago and the Padres almost lustful nature of spending big every few years are some examples of owners who do not always think wisely with their pocketbooks) and further handcuffs a team’s future needs.

Spending big on a free agent or an internal candidate would be foolish. If Sherman were to start off his tenure in this nature his spending would alienate the fan base because of the almost certain nature of big contracts not working out. So then, we are left with one last question: How does Sherman begin his Royals’ tenure?

Sherman has already started off on the right foot without even setting foot in Kauffman Stadium as the Royals’ owner. His time with the Indians as an executive has allowed him to see professional baseball as not only a game but as a business.

This means that Sherman has seen what a competent (yes, Indians baseball is competent because they have won at least 81 games in every season for the last six seasons, a few playoff appearances, and a World Series appearance) baseball organization looks like. He also got to see the Royals from a competitor’s standpoint, while also directly working with people who analyze Dayton Moore and his staff’s personnel (players and coaches) decisions.

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Therefore, the blueprint that seems like the best bet to use is to stay on course and offer support to the current front office while setting new spending goals for the next few seasons. This may mean spending more money on young Royals who maybe the key veteran player(s) for when they expect to compete again.

Spending wisely, not splurging on free agents, working with the current front office, and not meddling with the baseball decisions would help the Royals regain royalty while starting off his era off on the right foot.