After coming off a 72-90 season and missing the playoffs, the Kansas City Royals’ goal for this upcoming season is still the same – make the playoffs.
The Royals finished in third place in the American League Central Division, but they are still optimistic their team for 2013 can be a contender for the playoffs. They are coming into spring training with a much-improved pitching rotation after trading their top prospects Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi, along with two other minor leaguers to the Rays for former all-star James Shields and right-hander Wade Davis.
The front office hard work to make this team a contender has not ended yet since they made another trade that sent minor leaguer Brandon Sisk to the Angels in exchange for right-handed pitcher Ervin Santana and cash. The Royals also signed right-handed pitcher Jeremy Guthrie to a three-year, $25 million contract through 2015. The Royals signed him mid-season, and he had a terrific second half since the team acquired him from the Colorado Rockies.
They also agreed on a minor-league contract with Dominican native Miguel Tejada who is a six-time All-Star shortstop and former American League MVP.
Fans should not forget that the Royals still have some other young prospects ready to step up; such as first-round pick outfielder Bubba Starling, who has raw power; right-handed pitcher Kyle Zimmer; Jorge Bonifacio, who has the ability to drive the ball to all fields, and his quick bat stays in the zone longer than most hitters his age according MLB.com.
The Royals left-hander John Lamb is coming back after missing the entire past season with Tommy John surgery; ready to make an impact on the team.
It is definitely a different environment and confidence for the players knowing that they have a really solid starting rotation that is capable of of competing and keeping them in games against other good teams such as their division champions, The Detroit Tigers. The manager Ned Yost has been one of the first one expressing his good optimism for the Royals this up-coming season.
“This year, we’ve got talented players, we’ve got depth, we can play defense, we can pitch, we’ve got a great bullpen, I think we’re going to swing the bats really well,” MLB.com reports.