The 2012 offseason for the Kansas City Royals was probably the most exciting in recent memory. They shipped away top prospect Wil Myers to Tampa Bay in a deal in which the Royals received pitching ace James Shields. The Royals also signed Ervin Santana as well to boost the starting rotation significantly. The offseason acquisitions were made with the hopes that the future is now and the 2013 season would finally be the year the Kansas City Royals made it to the playoffs since their magical World Series title in 1985.
The season it was
As the 2013 season approached, there was a lot of buzz surrounding the team about the high expectations the team placed upon themselves as well as the goals the city had for them. General Manager Dayton Moore has been in Kansas City since June of 2006 and the James Shield trade is the biggest thing he has done since he arrived. He has taken a lot of criticism over the years for his lack of “Win Now” philosophy, so the 2012 offseason was a bit out of character for him. There was also scrutiny surrounding the trade as well for giving up the Royals top prospect, who we would find out later, would be in the running for Rookie of the Year as right fielder of the Tampa Bay Rays.
The 2013 season was by far the most exciting season since 2003 when the Royals started out 9-0 and would finish with a record above .500. After starting the season with a 17-10 record, they ended the month of May at 22-30. It looked like another below average season in Kansas City even at the All-Star Break being six games below .500. By the end of July the Royals had a winning record, but there were two months left to go in the regular season. It was a roller coaster ride the rest of the way, but a very enjoyable one at that. The Royals would eventually end the season at a mark of 86-76 and 5.5 games behind the Rays for the second Wild Card spot, their best record since the 1989 season.
High hopes in Kansas City
The 2013 season brought hope and optimism to Kansas City, something that has not always been present with the team or the fans. There is a lot to be desired as the 2013 offseason has begun for Kansas City. A lot of questions are yet to be answered, the biggest ones concerning the pitching staff and if the big trade was a long-term solution. The Royals arguably have some of the best young talent in the game right now, but it’s a matter of producing that talent into wins and finally getting over their 28 year drought from the playoffs. The next four months should tell us exactly what the Royals plan to do for next season and how competitive they plan to be. I will update weekly about offseason acitivities as well as what I believe they need to do to compete in 2014.