The Kansas City Royals have been lurking in the shadows of the free-agent market. Outside of announcing new uniforms, they have not made any significant ripples in the free-agent market. Fans have voiced frustration over the lack of moves being executed. The cries for this organization to sign some lifeform to a Royals uniform are heating up. Before fans cramp their thumbs on Twitter, let’s talk about some things that have happened that could be of significance for 2022.
The Royals Added Prospects to the 40-Man Roster
The Kansas City Royals made some adjustments to their 40-man roster by subtracting Lucius Fox. He would be picked up by the Baltimore Orioles only to be waived and signed by the Washington Nationals.
The Royals would add Jonathan Bowlan, Collin Snider, Nathan Webb, Maikel Garcia, MJ Melendez, and Nick Pratto to the 40-man roster. These players were added to protect them from the up-and-coming Rule 5 Draft. Many of the players listed above are looking to have a role on the major league roster in the future. Three of the six players are listed in the Royals top 30 prospects.
The Royals Addressed Their Arbitration-Eligible Players
Before we talk about the players, what is arbitration, and how does it benefit a baseball player? According to SportingNews.com,
"“MLB salary arbitration kicks in for salary disputes with players of at least three years in the big leagues but aren’t eligible to enter free agency quite yet. A contract dispute. If a player and a team agree on a fair salary, then that’s the end of the story.”"
The Royals had seven players eligible for arbitration Andrew Benintendi, Brad Keller, Adalberto Mondesi, Nicky Lopez, Ryan O’Hearn, Scott Barlow, and Cam Gallagher. Kansas City non-tendered Richard Lovelady, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery. According to Alec Lewis of The Athletic, the Royals expected to re-sign Richard Lovelady to a minor league contract.
Does the Potential of a Lockout Make It a Quiet Offseason?
Baseball is about to get quiet. At 11:59 p.m. ET, the collective bargaining agreement is set to expire between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. Jesse Rogers wrote an incredible article on the potential of an MLB lockout. He goes into great detail on the who, what, when, where, and why questions. A question he proposes is, “What does the lockout mean for free agency and trade? Are the winter meetings canceled?” According to Jesse Rogers of ESPN,
"“Everything halts — except that teams still could talk to one another. Conceivably, trades could be consummated during the lockout but not announced until after it ends. The major league portion of the winter meetings, scheduled for next week, would be canceled. There would be little point to holding the meetings, as agents couldn’t meet with teams. In fact, team personnel wouldn’t even be allowed to speak to the media about players on 40-man rosters during the lockout. The minor league side of the meetings would continue. Offseason drug testing would stop as well. It would pick up as soon as a new CBA is ratified.”"
The Royals could be anticipating a long lockout between the battling sides. A lot is being contested, such as minor leaguers having to stay in the minors a few extra days or weeks to hinder their MLB service time. Maybe this changes and Bobby Witt Jr. starts at the major league level in 2022.
In the end, the Kansas City Royals are preparing for a future run to the World Series by building around their farm system. They are looking to create longevity and a consistent winning ball club. Personally, that is something I can live with.