In what has been a fairly busy offseason by Kansas City standards, Royals general manager Dayton Moore has been making some moves to bolster the club’s offense.
In what has been a fairly busy offseason by Kansas City standards, Royals general manager Dayton Moore has been making some moves to bolster the club’s offense. Last year’s mission was to improve the pitching staff, and those moves paid off in spades with the Royals being able to boast one of Major League Baseball’s best hurling staffs. The stellar pitching carried KC as far as it could last year, which was to a winning record and 3rd place in the AL Central. However, with the pitching having no direction to go but down, and without an offensive upgrade, KC was not going to see any more improvement in the standings this season. Some of those needs have been met. Norichiki Aoki was acquired from Milwaukee to play right field. He gives the Royals a true lead-off hitter for the first time in, like, forever. He should be a capable table-setter as he possesses a fine OBP and is a good baserunner. He is a decent outfielder who can also play some center field if called upon. Omar Infante has been recruited from the rival Tigers to play 2nd base. 2nd base was a revolving door for KC last season, with no one they tried there really impressing. Infante has been penciled into the 2-hole. He has some pop and can handle the bat, so he could be a good fit behind Aoki in the line-up. No one is going to mistake him for a Gold Glove infielder, but with the Royals possessing a plethora of good defenders, having one merely mediocre defender in the mix isn’t going to spoil the Royals’ team chances. The most recent position player to join the Royals is 3B Danny Valencia. Moving over from the Orioles, many are thinking he is in town as insurance against another “Moose meltdown.” KC’s favorite underachiever, Mike Moustakas, needs to have a better year at the plate this season, or he may find himself sitting. One scenario has the lefty Moose platooning at the hot corner with the righty Valencia, who reportedly murders left-handed pitching. Two key members of the rotation are likely to be absent this season. It would be great to have Ervin Santana back, but he wants more money than KC can afford. Bruce Chen is also a free agent, and most are not expecting to see the wily southpaw back in a KC uniform. To fill the void, lefty Jason Vargas was brought in. This may be the most questionable new signing. Without a couple of homegrown products like a Danny Duffy or a Yordana Ventura stepping up, the rotation may take a step backwards this year. Overall, though, it has been a good offseason for Dayton Moore who has made good on his vow to upgrade the offense, even if he wasn’t able to bring in a big thumper to play right field as many people had hoped.