Royals face end of great runBy Matt Verderame
The Kansas City Royals were terrible for the better part of 30 years. Then, suddenly, they rose from the ashes and reached the World Series in two consecutive seasons, winning it all last year in a five-game triumph over the favored New York Mets.
Now, the journey is over. Kansas City is 49-53 and on the verge of falling completely out of the American League postseason race. The Royals are in fourth place of the AL Central and sit 10 games behind the Cleveland Indians, while they are a full seven games behind the Boston Red Sox for the final spot in the Wild Card game.
With all that in mind, Kansas City would be wise to starting selling, something that can’t be lost on general manager Dayton Moore.
Moore has some talent to lure teams with, including All-Star closer Wade Davis and slugging designated hitter Kendys Morales. While the suitors will be limited in relation to Morales because of his defensive shortcomings, almost any team in the sport would love to have Davis. The 30-year-old is only being paid $8 million this season and $10 million next year before becoming a free agent.
Morales’ contract is up after this year, making him a classic rental. While he can’t play defense and runs like a mule, Morales can hit the ball both for average and power.
Then there is starting pitcher Edinson Volquez. Volquez is also looking at free agency come this winter, and could attract some teams looking for a starter toward the back end of the rotation. The veteran has not enjoyed a great year despite posting eight wins, sitting on a middling 4.70 ERA. However, in this climate, teams always need an arm and Volquez can provide that, if nothing else.
For fans of the Royals, this has to be a bittersweet moment. Kansas City won the World Series in 1985 and then did not make the playoffs until 2014, going through 29 years of nothingness. Then, there were two glorious years, providing a second championship for the franchise.
Now, Kansas City faces tearing down the team to some degree. While the pillars will still remain in guys like Salvadoe Perez, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer, many other faces could be moving on including Davis, who has been a major part of the team’s success.
Ultimately, everything comes to an end. For the Royals, this could either be a temporary stop at mediocrity or the start of a slide back down the standings. Regardless, at least Kansas City got to experience the top of the mountain, something so many fan bases have never known.