On December 2, the Royals non-tendered third baseman Maikel Franco making him a free agent. This didn’t surprise me too much, but it was still a difficult decision for the Royals. General Manager Dayton Moore told Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com “It was a difficult decision.” Moore continued, ” He really did a great job for us; but going forward we felt we had internal options at third base, including Hunter Dozier, Kelvin Gutiérrez and Emmanuel Rivera.” Franco could have earned $8 million in arbitration this off-season. I believe this is the right move for the Royals. In 2020, Franco was a great signing for the Royals. He signed a one-year deal worth $2.95 million with KC during the off-season. During his time in Kansas City, Franco played well in a shortened season with eight home runs and 38 runs batted in. I believe Franco could possibly find a multi-year deal on the open market with the third basemen market being pretty thin. I love how Dayton Moore wants to turn to in-house options to play third base. I doubt Dozier will return to third base with first base and possibly an outfield spot up for grabs next season. I believe Kelvin Gutiérrez is the favorite to play third base on a regular basis in 2021. I believe Gutiérrez could be something special for the Royals. Despite his offensive struggles in the big leagues in parts of the 2019 and 2020 seasons, I think he could improve dramatically in 2021 if he gets the opportunity to play everyday. I believe Gutiérrez has plenty of pop in his bat, however, he does not have Soler type of power. The Royals love defense, and Gutiérrez definitely fits that category. When the Royals acquired Gutierrez from the Nationals in 2018, they loved what they saw defensively. During his rookie season with the Royals, he showed off his soft hands and strong arm at third base. I believe his defense could potentially be gold glove worthy. I doubt many fans see a gold glove in his future, but I believe he will surprise people in 2021 at third base. I am hopeful that Gutiérrez will stay healthy throughout the season for the Royals and hold down the fort at third for a long time.
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
Should the Royals take a chance on a former first round draft pick? The Royals are showing this off-season that they are ready to compete. The Royals have answered many questions this off-season by adding a starting pitcher and an outfielder. The team still must ... Read more