(Getty Images)For a little while last season, the Kansas City Royals looked like they might be able to shake off all those years of losing and make the postseason. It didn't happen, of course, but the Royals got people in Kansas City excited again.
They finished 86-76, the franchise's first time over .500 since 2003 and the first time they topped the 85-win mark since 1989. For a team that hadn't made the playoffs since 1985, it was an enjoyable run in 2013. Heck, GM Dayton Moore might have been a little too excited about it, saying he felt like they won the World Series.
There's a big gap between finishing in third place in AL Central and raising the World Series trophy, but the Royals aren't just sitting pat this offseason hoping the trophy comes to them. And their latest move is a good one. They've acquired outfielder/leadoff man Norichika Aoki in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers for pitcher Will Smith. Smith, a 24-year-old, had an 3.24 ERA in 33.1 innings out of the Royals bullpen last season.
Aoki, 31, isn't a household name, or even an All-Star, but he's a good piece, a top-of-the-order hit machine who could benefit from a maturing Royals lineup behind him. The World Series run of the Boston Red Sox showed us how having good pieces might be better than trying to get a team of stars to co-exist.Read More »from Royals acquire Norichika Aoki in a trade with Brewers, improving KC’s chances to contend