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Kansas City Royals Still Need Improving

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 29:  Juan Cruz #37, John Buck #14, and pitching coach Bob McClure #33 of the Kansas City Royals talk on the mound against the New York Yankees during the game on September 29, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Bill MckillopCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2009

The Kansas City Royals' season has come to a close for 2009 and they are not getting any better. The 2009 Royals team, with the possible AL Cy Young in Zack Greinke, finished 10 games worse then the 2008 Royals. The Royals finished with only 65 wins in 2009 and have averaged only 65 wins from 2005-2009.

This is a young  team that in May was in first place and looked like it could make some noise.  Greinkiemania was sweeping baseball as the Royals were the Media darlings and actually had an attendance increase over last year.

In the end, the only impact these Royals had on shaping the postseason was losing three out of three to the Twins in the final three games to force the one game playoff between the Twins and Tigers.  With all the energy and activity in Kansas City this season, I was shocked when they finished 21.5 games out of first place to a team.

Minnesota is a great blue print for the Royals to follow as they have won the division five times since 2001 with a modest payroll.  The Twins had a payroll around $65 million on opening day where the Royals had a payroll about $70 million. 

The Royals have a good core of players who contribute, with Greinke, Soria, Tejada, Butler, and Callaspo and need to work on keep those players together while adding some young hard nose talent.  Its time to move away from the players like Meche, Crisp, and Guillen who are expensive and note getting you over the hump. 

Another area of improvement for the Royals is the MLB draft as they sign only about 60 percent of the picks that they draft. A team that depends on younger less expensive talent should do a better job signing the pics they make. They need to get to about 80 percent so they can develop the players for the big leagues or trade away the prospects for major league ready talent.

You are going to need allot of depth to be competitive for a 162 game season and get back on the winning track. The team should also not be afraid to sign a free agent for one year and low dollars with the hopes he may have a good year. Examples: (Hoffman with the Brewers, Abreu with the Angels, Wolf with the Dodgers).

The Royals are in a winnable division as the Twins have shown over the last seven years or so it just needs a little more work.


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