Since this year is a lost cause, we need to start building next year's team. Really, I believe the question is, Are the "Core Players" good enough?
Just to get the obvious out of the way, the pitching is clearly good enough. A rotation of Meche, Greinke, Banny, Hochevar, and Davies (or other #5) is championship caliber. Soria's a clear top-line closer. The bullpen guys suck this year and really, everyone's expendable and likely to change significantly year over year, so any analysis is just as big a waste as this bullpen is. I believe if you add a couple quality pen arms and if a couple guys turn it around, the pitching doesn't need much more work.
Our offense sucks. This has haunted the Royals since the Dye-Beltran-Damon OF was broken up and we've had a below average offense ever since. Using players currently in our organization here's what a lineup could be next season:
Can the Royals be a winning team with Butler, Gordon, DDJ, and Teahen in the lineup everyday? I don't believe so. Not in the American League. Not when we have to score 4-6 runs a game. Unless this team gets serious about putting premier players at the corner positions, we're in trouble offensively.
The only answer I see is signing a power hitting LF and moving DDJ to CF along with getting serious production from the DH. The last non-laughable everyday DH the Royals have had since Hal McRae was Mike Sweeney in 2005 and Chili Davis in 1997 which in and of itself is laughable. Our history of DH's is pathetic at best. An American League championship level offense cannot have replacement level production out of LF and DH.
DDJ, Gordon, Butler, and Teahen are nice, above-average players, but they can't carry our offense to where we need to go. Even if Gordon and Butler take a step forward into the 20-30 HR level, we're still looking at a below average offense because of the lack of production from LF and DH. If we depend on what we have currently as the cornerstones for next year's lineup, we're in serious trouble again.