Kansas City Royals: Non-tendered bargain free agent targets for 2020

General manager Dayton Moore (center) (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
General manager Dayton Moore (center) (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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Blake Treinen #39 of the Oakland Athletics (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Blake Treinen #39 of the Oakland Athletics (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /

The MLB’s non-tender contract roster deadline was December 2nd. Teams from around the league released players from their rosters into the free agency pool. Who’s available and who should the Kansas City Royals look to sign?

As part of the non-tender deadline, the Kansas City Royals made four moves releasing infielders Cheslor Cuthbert, Erick Mejia, Humberto Arteaga, and reliever Jesse Hahn from contractual obligations. The Royals 40-man roster now stands at 36 players leaving four roster spots open for free agent signings and Rule 5 Draft acquisitions.

The 2019-2020 offseason list of non-tendered free agents appears to be the strongest class in the last three years. The list from mltraderumors.com includes big names such as former All-Stars in shortstop Addison Russell, reliever Blake Treinen, and starter Aaron Sanchez.

The 2018 class had less “star power” in the non-tendered list but players like outfielders Avisail Garcia, Aristides Aquino, and catcher James McCann were non-tendered by their respective clubs. Garcia was released by the Chicago White Sox and signed by the Tampa Rays for 2019 and went on to produce a slash line of .282/.332/.464 with 20 home runs worth 1.8 WAR.

Aquino was released by the Cincinnati Reds and failed to sign elsewhere in the league. Aquino only went on to hit a historic 19 homers in 56 games for the Reds after being called up late in the season and looks to be part of the long-term plans in Cincinnati.

James McCann was released by the Detroit Tigers and signed by the Chicago White Sox where he put together a strong 2019 with 18 home runs and an excellent batting average (aided by elevated early BABIP numbers).

The 2017 class had even fewer “big names” in the non-tendered list, but produced productive players like starter Mike Fiers, infielder/outfielder Danny Santana, and infielder Hanser Alberto.

Fiers was released by the Houston Astros and went on to sign with the Detroit Tigers. Fiers put together a strong enough season to generate a trade return from the playoff bound Oakland Athletics. Fiers pitched 172 innings of 3.56 ERA after being non-tendered.

Danny Santana and Hanser Alberto each resigned with respective clubs after being non-tendered and had dismal 2018 seasons. Due to lack of an open roster slot, these guys were each released following the 2018 season and found success in their new ballparks with increased playing time. Santana put together a fantastic 2019 for the Texas Rangers with 28 bombs worth 1.9 WAR after being jettisoned by the Atlanta Braves.

Alberto put together a .305 average worth 1.9 WAR in 2019 for the Baltimore Orioles after being released by the Texas Rangers. Sometimes the success isn’t immediate for these young players and increased playing time is required to unlock their potential.