Royals come to town as contenders

The last time the Kansas City Royals reached the postseason they won the World Series. That was back in 1985.

The Royals have been rebuilding ever since and just ended a nine-year stretch of sub-.500 seasons with a 86-76 record last season. They head to Arlington this weekend leading the AL Central.

But the Royals, with all their young talent, are not without problems.

ESPN's Jayson Stark discussed some of the Royals' issues as contenders in the AL in a recent piece, including a lack of power in their lineup.

"But the bad news is, the Royals are still on pace to hit a mere 99.8 home runs this season," Stark writes. "So maybe they finish with 100 homers. Maybe they don't. But if they don't, you should know that playoff teams that fail to hit 100 home runs are almost as rare as a day without a Kardashian headline."

There were rumors the Royals had interest in Texas Rangers outfielder Alex Rios, but Rios' power numbers aren't exactly earth-shattering. He has just four home run son the season and is currently nursing a sprained ankle. He has a no-trade clause to six teams -- the Royals are one of those teams -- but he's said he's open to waiving that clause depending on the situation.

Rangers' officials believe things will improve next season when some of their young talent matures and some veteran players recover from injuries. GM Jon Daniels is determined to also improve the team in free agency, and ownership is committed to Daniels' plan.

So while the Rangers struggle this season, the resurgence of the Royals is alive and well, something that hasn't happened in a long time.