2. Cole Ragans - SP
The acquisition of Ragans in the middle of last season has a chance to go down as one of the best trades in franchise history. Essentially from the moment Ragans joined the Royals' rotation, he was one of the most elite pitchers, and players altogether, in the sport.
Just like Pasquantino, Ragans has a few years of club control left with arbitration. He fits the timeline of the young pieces perfectly and if last season's breakout was real, he'll anchor this rotation through the contending years.
Admittedly, it's a small sample size, but these are the gambles teams like the Royals have to make. In 12 starts with Kansas City, Ragans had a 2.64 ERA with 89 strikeouts to just 27 walks in 70.1 innings. He had quite possibly the best pitching month in Royals history with advanced numbers that jumped off the charts.
The organization has its foundational position player locked up in Witt Jr. Now, it's time to lock up the opening day starter.
Similar to how the Atlanta Braves locked up Ronald Acuña Jr. and Spencer Strider with long-term extensions, the Royals should do the same and bank on Witt Jr. and Ragans continuing their dominant stretches to form one of the most dangerous one-two punches in MLB.
If you secure a great power hitter like Pasquantino and have your frontline starter in Ragans, you'll need some ancillary pieces as well to fill in the margins, as you'll see on the final page.