The Royals have problems, a lot of them to be exact. More problems than your average MLB club, and after this past 2023 season, most of the problems that have persisted have continued to ail this club. Matt Quatraro and company certainly didn't have the best of debuts, but it's also not their fault entirely. They did what they could with the roster and stipulations they had, so I personally don't blame them. The farm system left a lot to be desired, there's money on the table for trades, prospects, and players that has not been used, and overall, there's been more talk about moving the Royals out of Kauffman than improving the on-field product. I ask you all though this question, out of all the things the Royals need to do to improve, what will need to be done first in order to have the fastest path to success?
My personal opinion: I think improving the farm system is, in all likelihood, what you need to improve first. The Royals have tried and failed in years' past to acquire marquee players to make quick improvements, and while I believe the small market excuse is tired and overplayed at this point, it certainly helps to have a bigger payroll and market when attracting big time players. This is why so many successful small market teams have the best farm systems, it's how they win and how they succeed. The Royals have the 28th ranked farm system in the MLB, a far cry from where they need to be if they expect to develop their young core into something to reckon with. This past year's draft is a good start, however without the farm system to back it up it will be all for not. I like the roster the Royals have as of right now, it's full of youth and full of promise, but they will need to add insurance and add more to put themselves in the most ideal situation. When you have a farm system that fails as much as the Royals' system has, it's a significant problem for that development. All the free agent acquisitions in the world and trades you make won't make up for it unless you can make an absolute splash or have yourself in the perfect situation, a la the 2014 and 2015 Royals.
However, what do you think? Should the Royals try to be big buyers in free agency first before improving the farm system? Should they get more front office help for JJ Piccolo/get rid of Piccolo entirely? Are there any specific trades you'd want to see them make? What about position play, hitting, pitching? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Burn Notice: 7/10 It's football season now, but one last Royals article for the time being.