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3 Players the Royals Need to Sign When Free Agency Opens on Thursday

Larry Rupp
Three players the Kansas City Royals need to sign when free agency opens on Thursday.
Three players the Kansas City Royals need to sign when free agency opens on Thursday. / AP Photos/Charlie Riedel

Six straight losing seasons have certainly been tough for Kansas City fans to endure, but the Royals present reasons to look forward to the future. This is a team riddled with young talents like Bobby Witt and MJ Melendez. New manager Matt Quatraro could turn things around as soon as the 2023 season.

The front office needs fill out the roster with established pros before that can happen, though. The free agent market is chock full of players looking to thrive with a new squad and Kansas City would be smart to take advantage of that. Here's a look at three players the Royals need to sign in free agency.

Kansas City Royals Free Agency

1. Zach Eflin, SP

The glaring weak spot on this team heading into next summer is the starting rotation. Brady Singer is the team's No. 1 starter, but he is followed by the likes of Daniel Lynch, Brad Keller and Kris Bubic. All three of those players ended 2022 with an ERA north of 5.00. The Royals need someone they can build around for years to come and Zach Eflin can serve as that player. He is only 28 years old and should be willing to sign a multi-year year deal. Eflin logged a 4.04 ERA and 1.12 WHIP across 20 appearances (13 starts) this past season. He also allowed just 1.0 home runs per nine innings pitched, which was a career-best mark.

2. Sean Manaea, SP

Pitching, pitching and more pitching. The Royals shouldn't stop with adding only one new starter to the rotation. Eflin has the potential to be Singer's partner in crime, yet Kansas City needs someone that can eat a ton of innings every fifth day. Look no further than Sean Manaea. Manaea has thrown 337.1 innings over the last two seasons (60 starts). He also owns a 19-19 record during that span and has racked up 350 strikeouts. Kansas City is still rebuilding, which means they cannot afford to sign the top pitchers on the market. Adding Manaea to the mix as a reclamation project would be an underrated way to solve an immediate issue, especially since it's a move that wouldn't break the bank.

3. Mitch Haniger, OF

In 2022, the Royals ranked 26th in the majors when it came to home runs (138) and ranked 23rd when it came to doubles (247). The team is missing a player with sneaky pop capable of racking up extra-base hits. There's no shortage of those players on the free agent market, including Mitch Haniger. Haniger is coming off a season in which he slashed .246/.308/.429 and tallied 11 home runs in 57 games played. That's a 30-home run pace if injuries didn't keep him off the field. Keep in mind the All-Star talent finished the 2021 season with an insane 39 blasts and 23 doubles. Haniger would pair nicely with Drew Waters and Michael A. Taylor in the 2023 outfield.

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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.