Originally a Diary by Loyal2sdad, consider this the catch-call post for all today's big news: the Rule V Draft, the release of Runny, the Gil Meche signing...-RR
The Royals selected Joakim Soria, a 6'2", 170 LB, RHP.
Soria pitched last year for the Mexico City Red Devils, and then for a Low A team in Fort Wayne.
Currently, he is pitching in the Mexican Winter League, and this is what has garnered him the attention:
8-0, 2.02 ERA, 19 BB and 62 K in 62 IP. He is leading the league in all three of the pitching triple crown stats.
Scouting report indicates his fastball sits in the low 90s (topping out at 95), with an above avg changeup. Breaking ball has been a problem, but apparently has been improving this winter.
On the negative side, we did lose Adam Donachie in the draft.
Still to be determined is who DM will remove from the 40 man roster to make room for Soria, as our 40 man roster was full going in to the Rule 5 Draft.
WOuldn't be surprised if DM has a lot more moves under his sleeve this off-season.
And yes, the Royals have cut Runelyvs Hernandez to make room for Soria on the 40-man.
Some immediate reaction from "CentralChamps2009"I'm sorry, but this to me is just another sign that DM is for real. I could never have seen Baird having the guts to dump the Round Mound of. . .well, the Mound. This, along with spinning off Affeldt last year and now Burgos (knowing that his predecessors had likely ruined both of them, at least for KC) and overspending on Meche, who seems to have done very well in Seattle (not exactly a contender the last few years, and in what I believe to be a hitter-friendly park to boot), shows to me that DM knows just as well as we all do what's wrong with the team and is willing to be far more aggressive to improve it.
I say remember this the next time DM talks up Berroa or waxes on about Bell---he's far more shrewd than anyone is giving him credit for.
Yes. The Baird era is beginning to be torn down. It'll be weird not having to read stories about how Affedlt and Hernandez are read to dominate/take it to the next level during Spring Training this year.
ESPN and others report that the Gil Meche deal is finalized. He's a Royal.
It may be a little too quicky and dirty, but here's Gil's ERA+ numbers since 2003.
Gil Meche ERA+
Remember, ERA+ is park-adjusted. Meche's career ERA is 4.65, in 815 innings.
Returning to Meche, he'll be 28 next season, so its not as if we're not even sure he'll be upright by the time his deal expires. I've never thought much of him to be honest. However, check his Similarity Score comps:
Gil Meche: Most Similar Pitchers Through Age 27
1.Jason Marquis (972)
2. Hank Johnson (968)
3. Jason Jennings (959)
4. Chris Carpenter (959)
5. Jason Schmidt (958)
6. Matt Clement (956)
7. Shawn Estes (955)
Well that certainly looks promising: thumbs up on the Carpenter and Schmidt and Jennings, thumbs sideways on Marquis and Estes. Hank Johnson, by the way, was a 1920s and 30s hurler for the Yankees and three other teams. Hank died in 1982.
(Moment of silence for Hank Johnson, the #2 comparable to Gil Meche.)
Meanwhile, "EricConley" points out that:This is the first time since David Cone that the Royals went out and did whatever it took to bring in a guy that everyone wanted. What a great time to be a Royals fan. This is a huge signing, sure we had to overspend a bit but we got the guy we wanted even though a lot of other teams wanted him just as much. It's a new day for KC fans, we have a savvy GM and the ownership seems to be behind him and is showing it with money. I bet this signing increases the Royals ticket sales by enough to be statistically signifigant. Go Royals!!!!!
At least historically speaking, I must say I agree. This signing is a different order of magnitude that the Joe Mays or Scott Elarton sigings of last winter. Meche may actually be part of the next good Royals team.
To that end, Neil deMause at BP points out that the Meche signing certainly goes against the idea that only the nuclear powers on the coasts (and Chicago) are spending major money. According to Roto World the salary breakdown is:
2007- $7 million
2008- $11 million
2009- $11 million
2010- $12 million
2011- $12 million
With a $2 million dollar signing bonus.
Cot's Baseball Contracts is already fresh on the scene with Mecher on the roster. As of now, Mike Sweeney will still be the highest paid Royal next season, at $11 million.
One last thing on Meche (for now), according to this season's Pecota, Meche has already peaked, as his Five-Year forecast shows nothing but more of the same:
Meche's Next Four Years (According to 2006 PECTOTA
2007: 100 IP, 4.97 ERA
2008: 100 IP, 4.92 ERA
2009: 101 IP, 4.81 ERA
2010: 76 IP, 4.88 ERA
All in all, PECTOA sees no improvement. The Homer-Rate will stay the same, hovering around 1.2 per 9 (high), the K-Rate will stay pedestrian (5.5-5.8 Ks per 9) and the walk rate will stay OK (3.3 ish per 9).
So basically, another low-K rate flyball pitcher (GB rates staying in the 40% range) to plod his wares at the K.
Can we move the fences further back??