As the Kansas City Royals begin their quest to improve on the 2013 season during 2014, they will likely have to do so with a slightly less impressive starting pitching core. Because James Shields, Wade Davis and a few others will get paid more money this season by the Royals, they might find it impossible to re-sign Ervin Santana and Bruce Chen within their budget. There are some good young pitchers around so with a stronger offense, that might not kill their chances.
That is a very iffy might. They had one of the best pitching staffs in MLB this season and the offense let them down way too many times to make noise towards the end of the season. Even still they nearly did sneak their way into the wildcard picture. With the loss of at least two of that core starting staff, the offense will need to step up well enough to pick up the runs per game slack needed to offset the pitching staff losses.
Though the offense was improved towards the second half of the 2013 season, it wouldn’t hurt for one or two small changes to hit the big time for the Royals. They could use a young guy that develops quickly into an impact player or a nice trade to fall together just right. Offensively they don’t need a lot as things are. With less starting pitching however they will have to do a little bit more. It should be something they can do. If not they’ll have to go after free agent pitching which seems unlikely if they don’t resign their own.