MLB 2017 Preview Kansas City Royals - In 2016 the Kansas City Royals entered the season as the defending World Series champions but the team lumbered to an 81-81 overall record to finish in third place in the American League's Central Division. The Detroit Tigers finished ahead of them and else stood pat during the off season but the division winning Cleveland Indians got better in the off-season.

The Royals are looking to put together another world series run with this group of players. Wade Davis and Jarrod Dyson were traded before they could test the free agent waters and they have a slew of talent coming up on free agency at the end of this season, including most of the infield in Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar and also centerfielder Lorenzo Cain. General Manager Dayton Moore is expected to start unloading veterans if the team doesn't get off to a hot start. Youngster Jorge Soler was being pencilled in at right field but he had a weak spring training and has since gone down with a knee injury.

MLB 2017 Preview Kansas City Royals
Jason Hammel and Travis Wood*are on board as they added two hurlers in the offseason. Gone are Wade Davis, Greg Holland and Jarrod Dyson. Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy and Jason Vargas all figure to hold starting roles and the closer is slated to be Kelvin Herrera.

The year started off on a somber note for the Royals as 25 year old pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic. Ventura had started 90 games for the Royals over the last three years, going 38-30 in that span.

Perhaps the combination of free agents looking to have impact years and the motivation of Ventura's passing can help return KC to 2015 form, but that is unlikely.

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