Charlie Riedel/AP
February 16, 2017

Preliminary Grade (Feb. 15): B-

Key moves since preliminary grade: None

Aside from trading closer Wade Davis to the Cubs for young outfielder Jorge Soler, the Royals have kept the pending free agents from a nucleus that fueled two pennant winners—centerfielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcides Escobar, first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas—intact for one more run. Even so, the bullpen looks considerably thinner than before, and Yordano Ventura’s tragic death in a January car accident leaves a hole that’s far bigger than the solid rotation work newcomers Jason Hammel, Nate Karns and/or Travis Wood can provide. 

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