3 Free Agents the Royals Need to Target This Offseason
The 2022 MLB season marked the sixth year in a row that the Kansas City Royals finished with a losing record. There's been flashes of potential the team's lengthy rebuild, though, and young players on the roster are starting to establish themselves in the majors. 2023 could come with improvement.
One way to increase those chances of improvement is through the free agent market. The Royals head into the winter with the fourth-lowest projected payroll, so the opportunity is there for them to take a big swing or two. Here's a look at three free agents Kansas City needs to target this offseason.
Kansas City Royals Free Agency
1. Joc Pederson, OF
If there was one thing missing from the Royals lineup this past season, it was power. Kansas City finished with the fifth-fewest home runs in the league (138) and only saw five players finish with double-digit long balls. It's an area that could be aided with the signing of Joc Pederson. Pederson has tallied at least 25 home runs in five of his last eight seasons and slashed a respectable .274/.353/.521 in 2022. With an expected market value of $14.7 million, Pederson is a player that would transform the lineup without completely breaking the bank. Adding a veteran to an outfield group that involves the likes of MJ Melendez and Drew Waters wouldn't be a bad idea, either.
2. Michael Wacha, SP
The Royals' rotation is relatively young with Brady Singer, Daniel Lynch and Kris Bubic all under the age of 27. Reports were released all year about how much it helped to have veteran Zack Greinke in the locker room to help those players adjust to the major league level. Greinke is set to be a free agent, though, and could very well retire from baseball. Filling his spot with someone like Michael Wacha would be an underrated move. Wacha is coming off his best season in years. The 31-year-old posted an 11-4 record, 3.32 ERA and 1.12 WHIP across 23 starts (127.1 innings) for the Boston Red Sox. He also allowed only 2.2 home runs per nine innings pitched, which is significant given how Kauffman Stadium lines up as a hitter-friendly ballpark.
3. Taylor Rogers, RP
Scott Barlow logged 16 saves with Kansas City in 2021, but was not immediately locked into the role entering 2022. It didn't take long for him to earn it back and he went on to rack up a career-high 24 saves. Even if he takes on that role again in 2023, spending big to bring in a top setup man should be a clear priority for the Royals. This is a bullpen that finished with the fourth-highest ERA in baseball and blew one lead after another. Taylor Rogers is going to be one of the best free agent relievers available. The 2021 All-Star owns a 3.42 career ERA across seven MLB seasons and has tallied 81 career saves. He knows how to get the job done.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.
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