By Ross Sutton
This offseason signaled the end of an era for the Kansas CIty Royals, as most of the team’s core from consecutive World Series trips in 2014 and 2015 have signed elsewhere in free agency due to the Royals budget constraints. So far, the players that have signed with other teams in free agency include Eric Hosmer (Padres), Lorenzo Cain (Brewers) and Jason Vargas (Mets). The Royals also traded both Scott Alexander and Joakim Soria to the Dodgers this offseason in a three-team deal. Other notable players from years past that are still free agents and do not seem likely to re-sign with the Royals include Mike Moustakas and Melky Cabrera. On the other hand, Kansas City was able to re-sign Alcides Escobar and sign Lucas Duda to a major league contract. In 2017, the Royals finished the year with an 80-82 record and came in third place in the American League Central.
In regards to this upcoming season, the Royals will likely be worse than last year since they lost so many talented players in free agency. Kansas CIty does have a few talented players such as Salvador Perez, Alex Gordon, Jorge Soler and Whit Merrifield that will be big contributors in 2018. As the team enters a rebuild for the next few years, the fans cannot expect a lot from the team since they have such a small budget compared to other teams in the league. I predict the Royals will finish with a 69-93 record in 2018 and will end up in fourth or fifth place in the AL Central.
All transactions courtesy of mlb.com
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