Now that the Rangers won the World Series by defeating an upstart Diamondbacks team that may look familiar, J.J. Picollo is officially on the clock to deliver a more competitive Royals team in 2024.
Not only must the Royals consider the typical incentives to win, but the organization must also convince a generational star to stick around for the long haul.
Let's be aggressive this offseason then, shall we? Here are nine players who won't be around next year as Kansas City pursues a competitive club:
9 Royals Who Won't Return in 2024
1. Salvador Pérez - C
This hurts me as much as it hurts you, but the clearest path to a lengthy Bobby WItt Jr. extension directly involves a Salvy trade.
The Royals were fielding calls on eight-time All-Star ahead of the trade deadline though no deal materialized, so they're at least open to the idea. Given Salvy will turn 34 years old in May and has already battled injuries, this may be the peak of his trade value.
Perhaps Dayton Moore's greatest sin was holding on to the past for too long, eschewing trades for the core of the 2015 World Series team when the players' value was peaking. Kansas City paid the price for that decision and I don't expect Picollo to follow in his predecessors' footsteps.
Pérez has 94 home runs over the last three seasons and would provide integral clubhouse leadership to a contending team. He likely carries the most immediately trade value for any Royals' asset, so the most beneficial action for the longterm health of the club is, sadly, to capitalize on that value.