Review of the Kansas City Royals off-season transactions as if written Kansas City cartoonist Lee Judge

I think the LJ stands for Lee Judge - Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

This is a team that on paper at least stacks up favorably with any team in the league. 95 - 100 wins is not out of the possibility.

Greetings, Royals fans. With the start of Spring Training days away, I thought it time to review the off-season of the Kansas City Royals.

Wow, what an off-season it has been. Almost every single move the Royals have made has been one to make the team better. For those of you who took a break from baseball over the winter, here is a review of the notable transactions that the Royals have made.

October 26, 2012: The Royals claim RHP Chris Volstad off waivers from the Chicago Clubs
Brilliant move. Chris Volstad is a former first round pick with a large amount of talent. If he could get things figured out, he could be a force for the Royals. Claiming him was clearly the right thing to do.

October 31, 2012: The Royals trade LHP Brandon Sisk to the Angels for RHP Ervin Santana and $1 Million
I have written about this trade here, so I won't say much more than what a great move by the Royals. In acquiring Santy, they get a pitcher with a #1 starter's mentality who would be an asset for any team. Plus, they also got $1 Million from the Angels, money the Royals could use to get other players.

November 20, 2012: The Royals designate RHP Chris Volstad for assignment
Brilliant move. Chris Volstad is a former first round pick with a large amount of talent. If he hasn't figured things out by now, there is no reason for the Royals to waste a roster spot on him, so letting him go was clearly the right thing to do.

November 20, 2012: The Royals sign RHP Jeremy Guthrie
For 3 years and $25 million, what a great, great move. Guthrie was a highly coveted free agent, and for the Royals to get him shows the ability that Dayton Moore has to close on big deals. In acquiring Guthrie, they get a pitcher with a #1 starter's mentality would would be an asset for any team.

November 30, 2012: The Royals Sign Chris Getz
This was a superb deal for the Royals. Chris signed for $1.05 million with $150K in incentives, and I was surprised it wasn't for more money. I normally would have doubts about a player of Chris's ability signing for so little money, but Chris does not ever make mistakes, so I will assume he was doing the right thing. Here's hoping that Getzy is a long-term fixture at 2nd base for the Royals. He is the epitome of a gritty, hard-working professional baseball player.

December 9, 2012: The Royals trade LHP Mike Montgomery, RHP Jake Odorizzi, 3B Patrick Leonard, and RF Wil Myers to Tampa Bay for RHP James Shields, RHP Wade Davis and a Player To Be Named Later
Wow. Just wow. I also wrote about this trade here, but this trade was so good I can't help myself from gushing about it. This was the single best transaction that was made by any team during the entire off-season. Nobody else improved their club with one move like Dayton improved the Royals with this stroke of genius. He gave up 4 prospects, prospects who are unknown and may not amount to anything, for a sure thing in James Shields. In baseball, there is nothing so sure as the dominant starting pitcher, and the Royals acquired one of the surest in Big Game James. Plus, when you throw in the immense talent of Wade Davis, this trade was a home run for the Royals. Now, I don't know who the player to be named later would be, but given Moore's ability, for all we know it might be somebody like Evan Longoria.

December 11, 2012: The Royals sign OF Willy Taveras
Good solid move. Dayton Moore rightly knows that you can never have too many talented, speedy outfielders available.

December 14, 2012: The Royals sign OF Xavier Nady
Good solid move. Dayton Moore rightly knows that you can never have too many talented, speedy outfielders available.

December 31, 2012: The Royals sign OF Endy Chavez
Good solid move. Dayton Moore rightly knows that you can never have too many talented, speedy outfielders available.

December 31, 2012: The Royals sign 3B Miguel Tejada
This was another outstanding move. Miguel Tejada is a former MVP, and if he can regain his old form, he would be a welcome addition for any team. Here's hoping that Miguel is given plenty of at bats to regain that magical form of his.

January 18, 2013: The Royals Sign Luke Hochevar
For $4.65 Million with $100K in incentives, what another great move by the Royals. A player with Luke's talent will eventually get things figured out. Also, if you pick the top half of Luke's starts, he ranks up there with the best pitchers in the game. In keeping Hochevar, they get a pitcher with a #1 starter's mentality who would be an asset for any team.

January 25, 2013: The Royals claim C George Kotteras off waivers from the Oakland Athletics
For all you guys out there who think I am a Dayton Moore apologist, this should put that to rest. Frankly, this was a terrible move. I don't get it. This seems so out of character for Moore. Kotteras has a lifetime batting average of .220. What would anybody see in a player with so little value as that? I'm surprised he's still in baseball. Anyway, I would consider him a long-shot to make the roster.

My final thoughts:
What a great off-season for all Royals fans. No team, not a single one, improved themselves as much as the Royals did. Consider pitching for example. In Shields, Santana, Guthrie, and Hochevar the Royals have 4 starters with a #1 starter's mentality, guys who take the ball every 5th day and eat innings. Plus, in Davis, they get a guy who has the talent to develop that #1 starter's mentality. I predict a breakout year for him. Moore has expressed a desire for the starters to get 1,000 innings, but I consider that a bit low. With the proven veteran winners like the Royals have, I think you could aim as high as 1,200 innings.

Next, consider the defense. It is quite possible that Gordon, Francoeur, Hosmer, Getz, Escober, Moustakas, and Perez are each the best defensive players in the league at their positions. When you throw in Cain and Dyson, who are both well above average, it's not a stretch to think that the Royals will have the best defense in the league.

And on a final note, I know there are some "bloggers" out there who were very disappointed by the Shields/Myers trade. OK, so Jeff Francoeur struggled a little bit with a .235 batting average, but you guys are too quick to give up on him. When you consider the defense, the arm, the power, and the intangibles, if he could just pull up his average to the .250 range he would be very valuable for the Royals. Look at all the Polk Points the guy racks up. He does all the little things, and he does them well. Sometimes living in your mother's basement, eating Cheetos and drinking Mountain Dew can warp your perspective. The Royals, with their proven track record of success in evaluating talent, love the guy, and they have big hopes for him. You need to give him and the Royals a chance. With Shields turning in a dominant performance every 5th day, and Myers striking out too many times in Tampa Bay, I suspect nobody will be willing to admit being against the trade in 6 months.

So, expect big things from the Royals. This is a team that on paper at least stacks up favorably with any team in the league. 95 - 100 wins is not out of the possibility.


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