The Kansas City Royals are set for a rebuilding year, but that doesn't mean their players won't be trying their hardest to rejuvenate their careers. Since their prospects are a long way off and much of their World Series-winning team has departed or aged, the team consists of many players trying to make one last career push.
The Royals will be giving them plenty of opportunities to do so. Though they play in the AL Central with the equally bad Detroit Tigers, FanDuel Sportsbook gives them just a +50000 chance of winning the World Series. With that said, here are three Royals players whose careers lie in the balance next year.
1. Maikel Franco
Maikel Franco is finally out of Philadelphia after five mostly frustrating years. Once a highly-regarded prospect, Franco's one-year, $3 million contract with the Royals could effectively be his last chance in the majors. Franco hit for a .234/.297/.409 slash and added 17 homers last year, and there's almost nothing positive going into 2020. However, the Royals have shown an ability to salvage hitters like Jorge Soler and Whit Merrifield, and maybe their coaching staff can help Franco turn it around. Whatever the case, this is probably Franco's last real shot at living up to his potential.
2. Alex Gordon
Alex Gordon is a franchise hero and will be remembered fondly no matter what happens in 2020. Drafted No. 2 overall the Royals back in 2005, Gordon has been with the team since 2007, making three All-Star teams and winning seven Gold Gloves. However, Gordon is now 36 years old, and his numbers have steadily been declining. Gordon posted a .741 OPS in 2019, but that was the first time he'd had an OPS over .700 since 2015. He's still one of the smoothest defenders of all time, but he only has a one-year deal and his results this year could determine whether this is a farewell tour or the start of a late-career resurgence.
3. Mike Montgomery
Mike Montgomery will have his place in baseball history as the pitcher who got the save when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series in 2016, but he will be fighting to remain a major league starter in 2020. The Cubs traded Montgomery to the Royals midway through 2019, and he slotted into the KC rotation immediately. The lefty had passable numbers over 64 innings, managing a 4.64 ERA despite allowing 1.69 HR/9, but he's over 30 and needs to find something special to get him through the next few years. Montgomery will start for the Royals, but he can be a capable lefty reliever that teams will want with the new three-batter minimum rule. If Montgomery has a solid start, he will be a trade target for a contender. If he's bad, he might get released because he hits arbitration after this year. You can't get more "make-or-break" than that.
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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. 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.