Rotoworld posted their projected lineups for 2008 and have suggested a couple of moves. Teahen being traded for Paul Byrd? Geoff Jenkins or Ben Francisco taking over in RF and Shannon Stewart in LF. No mention of Hochevar or Buckner in the starting rotation. Thought this might be of interest to everyone...
CF David DeJesus
2B Mark Grudzielanek
3B Alex Gordon
DH Billy Butler
RF Geoff Jenkins/Ben Francisco
LF Shannon Stewart/Joey Gathright
1B Ross Gload/Ryan Shealy
C John Buck
SS Tony Pena Jr.
Kyle Davies/Jorge De La Rosa
With Buddy Bell resigning, the Royals' first priority this winter will be deciding on a new manager. Terry Pendleton is looked at as a favorite, though he may pass and wait for the opportunity to take over for Bobby Cox in Atlanta. Then again, the Kansas City job is quite a bit more attractive now than it's been in some time. Alex Gordon and Billy Butler are the biggest reasons why, but the Royals also have the makings of a solid pitching staff and an owner finally willing to spend some money.
The Royals will want to add at least one more starter this winter. It looked like it'd have to be two, but Zack Greinke has served notice that he belongs in the rotation and he should enter spring training with a spot to lose. With few quality starters available in free agency, the Royals should turn to the trade market. Paul Byrd would be ideal since he's pitched in Kansas City before and likely would be open to sticking around after 2008. Loaiza, Capuano and Dave Bush could also be possibilities. If the Royals do explore the free agent options, it figures that they'll be in on Carlos Silva, Jon Lieber and Kyle Lohse.
Joakim Soria's emergence means the Royals won't have to chase a closer. Still, if one falls into their laps, much like Octavio Dotel did last year, they could use Soria as a setup man.
The offense could be fairly well set except for the outfield. The Royals could pick up someone to play first base like Sean Casey or Dan Johnson, but they like Ross Gload and wouldn't be afraid to platoon him there with Shealy. The outfield could be completely jumbled with Emil Brown and Reggie Sanders expected to depart and both David DeJesus and Mark Teahen candidates to be traded. I have Teahen going for Byrd, opening up right field for a free agent. Geoff Jenkins would be a nice middle-of-the-order option, and he probably won't be very expensive. Signing a veteran to battle Joey Gathright for playing time in left field makes sense. With the lineup getting a little lefty heavy, Shannon Stewart, Craig Monroe or Scott Podsednik would work. I like the idea of trading for Jonny Gomes, but I'm guessing Dayton Moore doesn't.
The Royals could be a .500 team in 2009 with luck. In the National League, they'd have a realistic chance of getting there next year.