Jan 17, 2014, 3:00 PM EST
2013 record: 86-76, 3rd place in AL Central
Manager: Ned Yost, 5th season
Estimated 2014 payroll: $90 million
Key additions: OF Norichika Aoki, 2B Omar Infante, LHP Jason Vargas
Key losses: RHP Ervin Santana, LHP Brcuce Chen, C George Kottaras
RF Norichika Aoki
2B Omar Infante
1B Eric Hosmer
DH Billy Butler
LF Alex Gordon
C Salvador Perez
3B Mike Moustakas
CF Lorenzo Cain
SS Alcides Escobar
RHP James Shields
RHP Jeremy Guthrie
LHP Jason Vargas
RHP Wade Davis
LHP Danny Duffy
CL Greg Holland
RHP Luke Hochevar
LHP Tim Collins
Biggest questions entering 2014
1. Where will the power come from? Though the Royals hit a collective .260 in 2013 (fifth in the AL), they ranked dead-last with only 112 home runs. They need somebody to produce some more power from the heart of their lineup. Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and Alex Gordon all have the ability to hit 25-to-30 homers. Kansas City would love to see at least two of those three actually do it and take some pressure off a very good pitching staff.
2. Was Jason Vargas worth the money? Needing a replacement for free agent Ervin Santana, the Royals went out and signed Vargas for four years and $32 million. That’s a major commitment to a left-hander with a career 51-58 record and 4.30 ERA, especially one who benefitted from pitching in large parks in Seattle and Anaheim. Kansas City sure hopes Vargas pitches up to the contract and is a strong No. 3 starter behind James Shields and Jeremy Guthrie.
3. Is this finally the year in K.C.? Do you remember the last time the Royals reached the postseason? You have to go all the way back to their World Series championship in 1985. That’s the longest drought in baseball. This, however, might just be the year it finally happens. The Royals have a good rotation, a great bullpen and an exciting, young lineup. They might not be able to catch Detroit for the AL Central title, but a Wild Card berth absolutely looks attainable.
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
ON THE RADIO
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Dodgers sign former Phillies free agent bust
- Nats sign Tony Gwynn Jr. to minor-league deal
- Zimmerman getting used to working with fellow infielders at 1B
- Zimmermann ready for game action after live BP, including one hit batter
- Strasburg talks signing of Max Scherzer, rise of Nats as franchise
- Why the Nationals don't use the shift more
- Past failures fuel Barrett to bounce back
- Phillies lose to Division II baseball team in spring exhibition
- Live BP features Scherzer, broken bat, anthem
- Marlins ace Fernandez takes big step in Tommy John recovery