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Royals 2023 Season Preview

The Royals are looking to rebound in 2023 behind a young roster where overperformance could be the difference in a weak division.

After a disappointing 65-97 season in 2022, the Kansas City Royals are looking for another bounce back, but there is optimism around the team. Youth will be the order of the day in KC again this season, with at least 40% of the players under the age of 25. However, the Royals were able to retain a large chunk of their 2022 roster. BSP’s Jack Devin has details here on the Royals’ intra-state rival, the St. Louis Cardinals, and how the mindset is similar in the state of Missouri. The Royals had a rather quiet offseason in 2022. Here’s an official list of the transactions from KC, with the team website providing a full rundown of moves.

Royals Season Preview/Offseason Recap

Key Additions

  • Resigned Pitcher Zack Greinke to a one-year, $13 million contract on February 3.
  • Signed Aroldis Chapman to a one-year, $3.75 million deal on January 27.
  • Signed Pitcher Jordan Lyles to two-year, $17 million contract on December 28, 2022.
  • Signed Pitcher Ryan Yarbrough to a one-year, $3 million contract on December 13, 2022.

Key Subtractions

  • Traded first baseman Ryan O’Hearn to the Baltimore Orioles for Cash on January 3.
  • Traded shortstop Adalberto Mondesi and a player to be named later to the Boston Red Sox on January 24 for reliever Josh Taylor.
  • Traded center fielder Michael A. Taylor to the Minnesota Twins for pitchers Evan Sisk and Steven Cruz.
  • Lost pitchers Luke Weaver and Gabe Speier to the Seattle Mariners via waivers.

Important Factors for Royals

Young Guns Look to Star

One of the surprises from last season was the emergence of catcher/outfielder MJ Melendez. After making his professional debut on May 2, Melendez provided some instant pop to the offense. The now 24-year-old posted a .217 average with 18 home runs and 62 RBIs in 129 contests last season. But the big hype went to shortstop prospect Bobby Witt Jr. As a 22-year-old in his rookie campaign, Witt put together a solid .254 average with 20 bombs and 80 ribbies. He will be the lead star on a developing squad.

Greinke, Dozier Look to Lead Veterans

However, when looking at the roster, the veteran names to focus on will be stars Salvador Perez, Hunter Dozier, and Zack Greinke. Greinke is returning to the Royals on a one-year deal, and the 39-year-old right hander has been around the block more than once. Perez will be a perennial power bat and competitor for the catcher Silver Slugger Award. And Dozier had a nice bounce back season in 2022, with a turn toward improving numbers in 2023.

Chapman’s Redemption

The move that left the pitching market talking was when the Royals signed Aroldis Chapman back on January 27. After an up-and-down 2022 with the Yankees, Kansas City is giving “The Cuban Missile” a chance to prove he still has what it takes to be a shutdown bullpen arm. The left-hander is coming off of a major down year, and injuries played a key role. But he can still light up the radar gun, and close the door on many a game when given the opportunity.


Opening Day Projection Lineup

C – Salvador Perez/MJ Melendez

1B – Vinnie Pasquantino/Nick Pratto

2B – Nicky Lopez/Michael Massey

3B – Bobby Witt Jr./Hunter Dozier

SS – Maikel Garcia/Witt

LF – Kyle Isbel

CF – Drew Waters

RF – Nathan Eaton/Melendez

DH – Pratto/Pasquantino/Melendez

Bench – Freddy Fermin, Samad Taylor, Pratto, Edward Olivares, Diego Hernandez


1 – Zack Greinke

2 – Brady Singer

3 – Ryan Yarbrough

4 – Jordan Lyles

5 – Brad Keller


Kris Bubic

Dylan Coleman

Taylor Clarke

Aroldis Chapman

Amir Garrett

Richard Lovelady

Scott Barlow

Final Thoughts

With the young team comes some growing pains. And the Royals will have to find a way to adjust to adversity. It may be a while before KC can recapture the memories of their last playoff run which resulted in their 2015 World Series title. But Kansas City fans are loyal to their squad, and the blue-blood Royals are looking forward to a fresh start in 2023.

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