Solidering on in our series breaking down each organization from worst to best.
Rankings So Far
#27: Kansas City Royals
During David Glass’ tenure as the owner of the Royals, the team has operated with one of the smaller budgets in baseball, and while it has grown in recent years, the Royals are still one of the lesser spenders in baseball. They don’t have the revenue streams that larger market cities have, and will not be operating on a level playing field with those teams anytime soon. While Glass isn’t the meddler that Peter Angelos or Drayton McLane are, his hand is still too heavily involved in the direction of the baseball operations department.
Front Office: D
Dayton Moore came to Kansas City with a sterling reputation for talent evaluation from his time with the Atlanta Braves. His hiring was supposed to signify a new and better way of doing things for the Royals. Since taking over, Moore has made a long series of moves that have significantly tarnished his reputation and harmed the future of the franchise. The team has taken a spread-the-wealth approach to free agency, throwing a decent amount of money at a lot of average or worse players, wasting precious resources that could have easily been better spent on other players or in player development. Instead of maximizing their return on investment, as other small market teams have successfully done, the Royals have bought mediocrity on the free market, and failed to improve their team’s chances of winning in the process.
Major League Talent: C
There are good players in Kansas City, but like with the other teams at the bottom of these rankings, just not enough. Zack Greinke, David DeJesus, and Alex Gordon could all play for any team in baseball. Gil Meche has been a very pleasant surprise since signing as a free agent. Joakim Soria is one of the best closers in the game. But, the supporting cast is just not very good. The Jose Guillen signing was a disaster, and the acquisitions of guys like Mike Jacobs, Kyle Farnsworth, and Willie Bloomquist are just lateral moves that only serve to eat up payroll and waste roster spots.
Minor League Talent: C
Recent first round picks Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas provide legitimate impact bats for Kansas City’s future, but the dropoff after those two is fairly steep. There are some interesting arms behind those two, such as Dan Cortes and Tim Melville, but they aren’t the kinds of prospects that you like to see in your top five, especially for a rebuilding franchise. Having two premium position players is nice, but the depth just isn’t there. Much like the major league roster, there just aren’t enough good players here.
The Royals are a clear step ahead of the previous three teams, but still have an awful lot of work to do before they could ever be considered a legitimate World Series contender. Unfortunately, the moves the team has been making over the last year don’t inspire an awful lot of confidence that the team is going to make the necessary transition in philosophy, and filling out the roster with replacement level veterans is simply never going to work. With a smaller paryoll, they have to emulate the Cleveland/Oakland/Minnesota/Atlanta philosophies of getting big returns on small invetments, and right now, that’s just not happening in Kansas City.