When you lose your three best players and starting shortstop to free agency, you are going to have a really tough time winning games.
Add in that fact that you were still under .500 even with all those players, and there is one truth that can't be denied-- you are going to SUCK in 2018.
The Kansas City Royals have been doing everything that they can to retain franchise star Eric Hosmer. There is reportedly a seven-year, $147 million deal on the table, but Hosmer may still be on his way out the door.
This is clearly a goodbye to KC from our beloved Eric Hosmer. You don't thank your city then sign a 7/147m deal to stay. pic.twitter.com/ef8VOQQgBK— Jill McD (@kssportsgirl) January 13, 2018
There is still a chance that the Royals could swoop in and sign their other All-Star free agents, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain, as the free agent market has been slow to develop. But it's most likely that all three players will be playing elsewhere this season.
Still, even in the pie-in-the-sky scenario that sees all three returning to KC -- which won't happen -- the Royals would be in trouble all the same.
Their once-vaunted bullpen was a huge reason they won the World Series in 2015, but only closer Kelvin Herrera remains from the core group. While most teams are focused on creating super-pens in order to compete, the Royals seem content with having a mediocre stable of relievers.
Last week, Kansas City traded Scott Alexander & Joakim Soria, leaving the pen a bit thinner. So how does the #Royals bullpen look moving forward? My latest from @royalsreview: https://t.co/EHmac8vBWz #RaisedRoyal @IBWAA— Sean Thornton (@SeanThornton5) January 9, 2018
The Royals could get away with the lack of a bullpen if they had a top-tier starting rotation, but that is also not the case.
Danny Duffy is the "ace" of the staff, when he should really be a back-of-the-rotation starter at this point in his career. Behind Duffy, the Royals are counting on two starters that are past their prime in Ian Kennedy and Jason Hammel, both of whom had ERAs over 5.00 last year.
Quite simply Kansas City will be giving up a boatload of runs this year, unless their entire pitching staff turns back the clock to produce some unlikely career years.
Whenever a small market team is at the top of the sport, we always caution that their window to win will be a short one. The Royals have proved that this is the case; their window has officially closed.