The Hidden Hillman Benefit

Looking over, the KC Star and MLB Trade Rumors, I think I see one way the Hillman hire might pay immediate dividends. The Royals are on the short list for both Fukudome (with the Cubs) and Kuroda (With Mariners, Dodgers and Diamondbacks). Both players are waiting on deciding who to sign with until after personal visits with the teams. Before Hillman, I would bet we would have no chance competing with big-market or West Coast club for a Japanese player who wants a comfort zone. Now? We may have a shot, especially with Fukudome. These players know Hillman, they know he knows how they like to play and how to establish a good atmosphere for them, and they respect him from his time in Japan. We still might lose out, but especially with Fukudome, I think having Hillman puts us in a much better position than we were in before.

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