In ESPN The Magazine's annual ranking of 122 pro sports teams, the Kansas City Royals followed a 56-spot jump with another six spots, up to MLB's top ranked team.
2016 ScheduleAll times ET
Alfredo Escalera has solid day in AFL
The Royals prospect went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs for the Surprise Saguaros in Arizona Fall League action on Thursday. Escalera batted eighth and played left field. Box score
Cain: Wrist injury won't affect offseason
Lorenzo Cain says he expects the extra month of rest that not playing in the postseason brings to help his injured left wrist heal for 2017. "I got about a month [of recovery] in already," Cain said. "So I should be ready to go work out with no problems." Kansas City Star
Royals too concerned with saves?
Sure, Wade Davis' injury complicated things for Kansas City, but the fact that he didn't pitch the most in crucial situations cost the team about several wins, per Dan Szymborski's metrics. Even Joakim Soria, who had a 4.05 ERA, saw more action in pivotal innings. Focus on saves can cost wins (Insider)
Remembering Saberhagen's playoff debut
With Julio Urias set to become the youngest starter in postseason history on Wednesday, David Schoenfield looks back at the other 10 youngest pitchers to start a playoff game. At 20 years, 175 days old, Bret Saberhagen dominated over eight innings in Game 2 of the ALCS for the 1984 Royals. A talented group (Insider)
Salary arbitration projections: Royals
All estimates via Matt Swartz and MLB Trade Rumors' projection model:
- Eric Hosmer - $13.3 million
- Dillon Gee - $3.6 million
- Tim Collins - $1.5 million
- Jarrod Dyson - $2.5 million
- Danny Duffy - $8.2 million
- Daniel Nava - $1.5 million
- Kelvin Herrera - $5.3 million
- Tony Cruz - $1 million MLBTradeRumors.com
Short-rest starts a good idea in October?
David Schoenfield examines the concept by looking back at the past 10 World Series winners. The 2015 Royals had Yordano Ventura and Chris Young each start on short rest once, and both held their own in those outings. Full results (Insider)
Staumont dominates in AFL action
Royals prospect Josh Staumont allowed just one hit and struck out two in four scoreless innings for the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League on Monday. The 22-year-old hasn't given up a run in seven AFL innings. Box score
Despite his second straight season with an OBP below .300, shortstop Alcides Escobar will reportedly see his 2017 option picked up by the Royals.
Josh Staumont stuck in neutral?
Staumont flashed great stuff and a good delivery during his first outing in Arizona, but he has a lot of trouble locating his fastball. Keith Law writes that this isn't new for the 22-year-old. Law: Scouting the AFL (Insider)
The Royals reportedly appear willing to shop closer Wade Davis as they look to shed payroll this offseason.
Morales among top FA power bats
After a slow start to the season, Kendrys Morales went on a tear at the plate to reach 30 homers and 93 RBIs. Buster Olney previews how he stacks up to other big bats. The well-stocked slugger market (Insider)
Toups has a day in AFL
Royals prospect Corey Toups went 3-for-5 with a home run, double, walk, two RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base for the Surprise Saguaros in Arizona Fall League action on Wednesday. Toups led off and played second base. Box score
Chris Young had surgery to his abdominal area, pelvis and groin on Tuesday and is expected to be ready for spring training in February.
The Royals reportedly will decline a mutual option with right-hander Edinson Volquez.
Hank Aaron Award finalists: AL Central
The Hank Aaron Award is given annually to a player recognized as the most outstanding offensive performer in his league. Fans can vote for their selections on MLB.com or on Twitter. Here are the nominees for each AL Central team:
- Chicago White Sox: Jose Abreu
- Cleveland Indians: Jose Ramirez
- Detroit Tigers: Miguel Cabrera
- Kansas City Royals: Eric Hosmer
- Minnesota Twins: Brian Dozier
Cheslor Cuthert could become the second baseman for the Royals after spending most of 2016 at third base.
Royals GM Dayton Moore said the team's payroll is likely to "regress a little bit" next season after the club reached a record-high figure in 2016.
Royals' longest homers of 2016
All distances calculated by ESPN's Home Run Tracker:
- Kendrys Morales - 456 feet (8/7)
- Eric Hosmer - 447 feet (4/27)
- Lorenzo Cain - 447 feet (4/9)
- Eric Hosmer - 444 feet (5/8)
- Eric Hosmer - 443 feet (8/16)
Royals finish in bottom half of rankings
A 3-2 loss in Sunday's finale dropped the Royals to .500. Injuries took their toll this year, but sub-.300 OBP seasons from Alcides Escobar and Salvador Perez certainly didn't help, either. Week 26 Power Rankings
Sunday's longest home runs
Several players ended the 2016 regular season with a bang, led by Willson Contreras' 425-foot homer. A couple of atypical power sources also cracked the list, including Andrew Susac and Cheslor Cuthbert.
What's next for the Royals?
With Kansas City missing the postseason after last year's World Series run, Jim Bowden lays out four objectives for the team this offseason. Among the priorities is adding a bat and making sure Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain come back healthy. To-do lists for eliminated teams (Insider)
Francisco Lindor hit the go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth inning, Josh Tomlin dazzled in his final tune-up for the postseason and the Indians beat the Royals 3-2 on Sunday.
Lineup: Royals (81-80) vs. Indians (93-67)
- 1. Jarrod Dyson, CF (L)
- 2. Whit Merrifield, 2B (R)
- 3. Kendrys Morales, 1B (S)
- 4. Salvador Perez, DH (R)
- 5. Paulo Orlando, RF (R)
- 6. Alex Gordon, LF (L)
- 7. Alcides Escobar, SS (R)
- 8. Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B (R)
- 9. Drew Butera, C (R)
- SP: Ian Kennedy, RHP