The Kansas City Royals made one of the biggest trades this offseason. They traded a package featuring top prospect Wil Myers to Tampa Bay for two MLB-level starters James Shields and Wade Davis. Does this movie make you believe the Royals are ready to win now?
The Royals have not shown any signs they are ready to compete in the AL Central. Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer were once top prospects, but haven’t made ways in the Majors. There are holes in their team that won’t be fixed by the end of the season.
Will the Royals trade Jeff Francoeur for major-league ready players or prospects to build toward the future?
Here is the 2013 MLB season preview for the Kansas City Royals.
2012 Win/Loss Record: 72-90
Key Additions: P James Shields, P Wade Davis, P Dan Wheeler, P Jeremy Guthrie, C George Kattaras, 2B Elliot Johnson, OF Endy Chavez, SS Miguel Tejada, OF Xavier Nady, P George Sherrill, OF Willy Tavares, SS Brandon Wood
Key Losses: P Joakim Soria, OF Wil Myers, P Vin Mazzaro, P Jake Odoruzzi, P Jonathan Sanchez, C Brayan Pena, P Chris Volstad, P Jeremy Jeffress, 1B Clint Robinson, OF Jason Bourgeois
Interleague Schedule: NL East + St. Louis Cardinals
Projected Starters: Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer, Chris Getz, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Jeff Francoeur, Billy Butler
Projected Starting Rotation: James Shields, Ervin Santana, Jeremy Guthrie, Bruce Chen, Wade Davis
Closer: Greg Holland
Fantasy Sleeper: OF Lorenzo Cain – The Royals acquired Cain in the Zack Greinke deal. The centerfield job is his to lose this season. He minor league batting average was around .290 and stole somewhere in-between 20-30 stolen bases every season. If he gets 500 at-bats, he should have the same amount of steals as he racked up in the minors. He’s draftable in AL-only leagues and a late-round sleeper in deep mixed leagues
Team Analysis: Before last season, the Royals were a sexy sleeper pick to have a breakout season. Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordan, Salvador Perez, Moustakas and Hosmer, if they hit their peak, could be a playoff team. Not all those players are ready, so they will fall short of .500 in 2013. They focused on improving their pitching staff, but at a great cost. Will Myers is a top-3 prospect in all of the Majors and they traded him for two players who are more expensive AND have less years of team control. They signed Ervin Santan and Jeremy Guthrie in the offseason, two players who have been known to have long periods of pitching mechanics issues. In closing, let’s see how these players improve this season. If they show signs of hitting their prime, they could be a playoff team as early as 2015.
Sportsbook.ag’s 2013 Wins Over/Under Line: 78.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2013 Projected Win/Loss Record: 72-90 (4th in AL Central)