The KC Royals were being aggressive in free agency but then slowed down. Why didn’t they make a push to bring in Felix Hernandez?
Felix Hernandez signed a minor league deal with the Orioles and it’s baffling how the Kansas City Royals couldn’t swing that or that they didn’t even try (as far as we know). From 2009 to 2015, Hernandez — or “King Felix” as he was often referred to as — was one of the best pitchers in all of Major League Baseball. He won a Cy Young in 2010 and went on to dominate for the next half-decade.
It’s true that Hernandez’s production declined from 2017-2019, but Jon Heyman mentioned that he was looking good in spring training with the Braves before he made the decision to opt-out. Now he’ll head to Baltimore and could very well be their ace when the 2021 season commences.
My question is — Why couldn’t the Royals make this work? They might think their rotation is good to go, but if Hernandez is even half as good as he was during his peak seasons, he’s better than just about anyone the Royals have at their disposal.
Felix Hernandez could have really helped the KC Royals’ rotation.
The Royals seem to have their rotation figured out, as it’ll be Brad Keller, Brady Singer, Danny Duffy, Kris Bubic, and then maybe Mike Minor or a prospect slides in there as well (personally, I’d rather see Minor in a relief role, which is where he shined for the Royals a few years ago). Maybe that’s why they didn’t see the need to go after Hernandez.
Worst case scenario would have been that Hernandez isn’t good and the Royals cut bait and move on (think Matt Harvey last season if you’re wanting a recent example). The best scenario is that Hernandez ends up being good and if the Royals are in contention, great! If they’re not in contention, then they could trade King Felix to any team looking to add talent at the deadline.
This seemed like a classic Dayton Moore move but he and the Royals didn’t bite. It’ll be interesting to see if Felix Hernandez does much with the Orioles after sitting out all of last season, but if he does amount to anything there, the Royals should be kicking themselves for not making an attempt to bring him in.
Do you think the Royals should have tried to sign Felix Hernandez?