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Affeldt, Runelvys Signed: Hello Worst Case Scenario

Umm. OK. I'm so beaten down I'm not even sure whats good or bad anymore, and this is the general reaction I have to any Royals' news more or less. Affeldt's about three-years overripe as an up-and-coming pitcher, and once he was moved to the bully full-time, the Royals essentially capped his ceiling at about 40% of his original potential. Runelvys has had approximately a good 10-start stretch two seasons ago, and not much else.

In fact, these dual one-year contracts represent Step One in the Royals mucking up their young pitching talent. If they continue to plod along as injury-prone, below-average pitchers, then the team gets no better, and at the most basic level roster space is wasted (not that there are better alternatives, but at least philosophically that matters). On the other hand, lets say Run' gets his league average on starts 30 games, goes 14-10 with a 4.50 ERA. Then what? Can the Royals afford him on the FA market? What if he actually has a good season?

Considering he's heading into his late 20s, has already made 57 non-horrible big league starts (with a nice flat 5.00 career ERA) the Royals should realize theres some potential there. And even if theres not, shouldn't we at least pretend? Theres at least an imaginable scenario in which Run contributes to the next good Royals team, and you can't say that about anyone else they signed this winter. Ditto for Affeldt. And at this point, Affeldt is probably a better candidate for three months of good numbers.

So what are we left with? In short, two signings with no sustained upside. If Affey and Run struggle and scuffle again, they're just slightly overpaid, frustrating Royals. Should they actually succeed -- you know, like, thats when a player actually does well and helps the team -- then the Royals will certainly be outbid on the FA market.

I thought the key was locking up your homegrown talent?

Hmmm... maybe we're seeing the effects of the pointless winter signings of Minky et al. The sad thing is, as unlikely as it might be, Runelyvs Hernandez still has a discernable chance of being a good or even elite player. Paul Bako, Minky, Grudz and Reggie Sanders have no shot of being as good-- next season or for the next five seasons-- as Run' could. They could all have their best-case 2006, and the Royals still wouldn't be Wild-Card contenders. So what exactly was the point? Especially since their signings may have cost the Royals an extra season, or two, of The Good Version of Runelyvs?

This is idiotic.

Really the only way the Royals can save face here is for Run' to suck again in 2006. Then at least they won't suffer the indignity of watching him walk.

In an environment where Paul Bako is considered a valuable addition and John Buck is thought of positively and a Bako-student, why even worry about the details?