3 Former Royals Still Unemployed Heading Into Opening Day

2009 Cy Young winner Zack Greinke is not retired but still does not have an MLB home in 2024
2009 Cy Young winner Zack Greinke is not retired but still does not have an MLB home in 2024 / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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The day Royals fans have long waited for is finally here! MLB Opening Day has arrived and expectations are sky-high not only for the fanbase but from betting markets as well.

Kansas City overhauled its roster this offseason, reshaping the entire pitching staff while bringing in veteran position players to signal an intention to compete.

However, the new roster means a lot of former Royals are still free agents looking for work as the 2024 season beings. Let's look at three Royals still trying to find work as we get set for the first pitch.

3 Former Royals Still Unemployed on Opening Day

1. Zack Greinke - SP

This appears to be the end of the line for one of the best pitchers in Royals history. The 40-year-old former Cy Young winner is beloved in Kansas City and around the major leagues at large, though struggled in 2023 with a 2-15 record and 5.06 ERA in just 142.1 innings pitched.

Greinke's declining stamina prohibits him from going deep into games and makes it tough to rely on him as a rotational mainstay like he once was. It's possible he catches on as a long reliever for a ballclub this summer, though the mercurial star is not on an active roster as the season opens.

For Royals fans that didn't have much to root for in the 2000s decade, Greinke was a beacon of hope and symbol of success. He won that Cy Young in 2009 with a 16-8 record and 2.16 ERA, compiling 242 strikeouts in 229.1 innings in one of the best seasons by any pitcher we've seen in Kansas City.

He pitched in the 2019 and 2021 World Series but his teams did not win, so he's still seeking an elusive championship. Greinke hasn't officially retired, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him join a contender this summer, though it'd be likely purely as a supplemental reliever and not a starting pitcher.

If this is indeed the end, I'll remember Greinke as the best Royals pitcher of his era and one of my all-time favorite players to ever don the Kansas City uniform.

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