I don’t remember seeing a team who did so little at the winter meetings as the Royals get as much air time on the studio shows when discussing what was going on. It seemed like every time I turned on MLB Network, they were talking about the Royals and something they may do soon or there were rumors about. On that note, it was kind of nice to hear all the mentions, and even some of the comments about them and 2013 were pretty nice. Of course, the Royals ultimately didn’t even come home with a selection in the Rule 5 draft that always takes place the last day of the meetings. Still, as I mentioned on this week’s podcast, there’s plenty of time for stuff to happen as the meetings are over, but we’ve still got more than two months before spring training and nearly four months before the start of the regular season, so sit tight.
- I, like many others, expect the Royals to get one more starting pitcher before it’s all said and done. Who that will be is obviously the question many people want an answer to, and I wish I could give that to you. What I know is the Royals have had talks with many teams about many pitchers and have talked to quite a few agents. I know talks have even progressed with some, but obviously none has come to fruition just yet. So many things have been discussed and been close to happening or even relatively close to happening that I struggle to even wager a guess at who they will get, but where there’s smoke, there’s often fire, so something will happen and as Sam Mellinger mentioned, the Royals opening day starter is likely not a part of the organization today.
- I want to address the Wil Myers for James Shields talk that dominated the internet on Wednesday night and into yesterday. I took a pretty hard stance that I was very much against the trade. I tried to articulate that on Twitter, but sometimes in 140 characters, it’s tough to get the job done, so I’m going to use this space and hope I don’t get too wordy. I’m not against trading Wil Myers for the right pitcher. That’s what I wrote about a couple weeks back. I think he’s a great trade chip if the Royals are able to get someone to headline their rotation. I don’t love the idea of trading him, but for the right guy, I can handle it because he is, after all, still an unproven prospect. I just have a real problem with giving him up for a pitcher who is only going to be in Kansas City for two seasons and will not get the Royals over the hump. What I mean by that is that acquiring James Shields probably gets the Royals to a ceiling of 80-84 wins. That’s not enough to compete for a playoff spot. And in 2014, he’s probably a part of a 85-87 win ceiling team. That’s still not enough. And then he’s gone. So why trade your top prospect (who would replace one of the worst every day players in baseball) for someone who isn’t going to put you over the top? You may ask yourself who would give the Royals an opportunity to compete in 2013 and the answer to that is no one pitcher does the job. Which is why if I was in charge and I was trading Wil Myers, it would have to be for someone with at least four years of control remaining. I’d probably bend things for a guy like David Price, but that’s getting into technicalities. In this situation, I don’t feel I’m overvaluing a prospect like we often do, but rather looking at the best long term plan of action for the team. If the Royals were James Shields away from being a 95 win team, I’d be all for trading Wil Myers for him, but they’re not, so in my mind, that trade would be a bad idea.
- These last four days have been a little odd because we’ve heard that the Royals had to dump payroll to acquire another pitcher, then we heard they actually had the money to go out and get a guy like Anibal Sanchez. Then we heard they were considering adding a third year to a contract for Ryan Dempster and giving him $13 million per year. Then the Shields rumors started. And the end of the cycle came yesterday when Bob Dutton came out with an article that said the Royals $70 million ceiling actually included the whole 40 man roster as well as amateur expenses. As you can imagine, that sent the Royals online community into a bid of a tizzy. Soon after that, a correction column came out from Bob Dutton saying that didn’t include amateur expenses and only included the 40 man roster. I hate to get into it again, but I’m just going to say that the fact that the Royals feel the need to tell us that they can only afford a $70 million payroll just shows a huge disconnect between the front office and the fans. There’s other issues here, but I just can’t even fathom why this story came out unless it was planted by Dayton Moore in an effort to make him look better if and when he’s looking for a new job.
- I’ll conclude by saying that I’m not real happy with what the Twins are doing right now because I think they’re making some shrewd moves and may be back quicker than we thought they would. They’ve traded both their center fielders in the last week and have brought back some solid pitching to an organization bereft of pitching talent. They’re not going to be much in 2013 and even in 2014, but if they can get back solid pieces for both Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, that’s a team that might be pretty good in the very near future. Terry Ryan is back in charge there, and he knows what he’s doing, so the Royals better get in gear and get going before the Twins do and get back to the top of the division.
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