After a slow start to the off-season, the Royals finally made a splash in free agency. KC signed outfielder Michael Taylor. Taylor is 29 years old, and signed a one-year deal for $1.75 million, according to MLB.com. He became a free agent in October after seven seasons with the Washington Nationals. After Alex Gordon announced his retirement at the end of the 2020 season, the Royals were forced to fill an outfield spot. The Royals have many in-house options to choose from in Whit Merrifield, Bubba Starling, Hunter Dozier, Nick Heath, Franchy Cordero and Edward Olivares. With the Royals signing Taylor, I don’t believe they need to bring in another outfielder to play right field with Merrifield most likely taking that spot. Even if they move Dozier to first base on a permanent basis, I think they will find a right fielder with the many outfielders they already have on the roster. However I don’t think that is such a good idea because I think Dozier will make a good outfielder. I would give the first base job to Ryan McBroom. This leads us back to the outfield discussion. The past few seasons the Royals have found great defensive outfielders on the market for good prices… well, most of them. The Royals have had their share of bad player signings. Back in 2018, the Royals handed outfielder Billy Hamilton a one year deal worth a whopping $5.25 million contract. The deal obviously didn’t work out for Hamilton or the Royals. Hamilton’s offensive struggles continued throughout the season giving the Royals no choice but to designate him for assignment. Now heading into the 2021 season, I think the Royals landed an outfielder that might do a little better at the plate than Hamilton did. However, I am not expecting much from Taylor offensively. I don’t believe Dayton Moore is either. The Royals want defense at the center field position first before offense. I don’t blame them for wanting good defense in the outfield at Kauffman Stadium with it being one of the bigger outfields in the league. Despite Taylor’s offensive struggles, he has shown some pop in his bat. In 2017 with 19 home runs with the Nationals. I believe the pop in his bat could return, but that is probably a long shot. With that in mind, I believe Taylor might have to compete for an outfield spot in spring training. I hope he can take a spot in the outfield; hopefully center field with his defensive skills, and after he signed a one year deal worth $1.75 million guaranteed. That isn’t too much money, but I don’t think the Royals would sign a bench player to a contract like that. With that in mind, I almost guarantee that Taylor will take the center field job, while Whit Merrifield takes right field. That would leave the left field spot up for grabs in spring training. I believe Franchy Cordero or Edward Olivares will take the left field job. I believe this could boot Bubba Starling out of Kansas City if he doesn’t improve offensively in spring training. I think the outfield competition will be very fun to watch in spring training in 2021.
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Back in 2015, the Royals peaked after many rebuilding years under GM Dayton Moore and Manager Ned Yost. The club finished 95-67 and went on to win the Fall Classic. That team wasn’t necessarily remembered for its’ starting rotation though. It was the contact friendly ... Read more