There are no excuses now. Before, the Royals were simply playing out the string (except they weren't quite, but that's another story) and Yuni was just someone to acquire because a point had to be made about rebellious and misbehaving Minor Leaguers. And when he was miraculously part of the Zack Greinke trade at nearly this exact time last year, we had reason to be thankful and even a little understanding. All the bromides and boilerplate were just that: of course they knew his limitations and saw the need to get him out of town lest another random HR set off another spark of seduction.
Then they brought him back.
This is what being a Royal fan is. The team currently employs an all-glove SS with a .290 OBP. For $2 million dollars next season, they've brought in a .271 OBP player with no glove. He will compete with a man named Chris Getz, who may actually be worse. But certainly, certainly they know what they are doing. How silly of us even to complain. The fact that he was mentioned as someone to spell Mike Moustakas is too believable to qualify as a joke. One shudders realizing it might actually be needed.
He will serve as a backup utility player. Supposedly he's veteran insurance, a reliable bit of security, there to help Ned Yost sleep at night, so that dear Ned can get those five hours of dreams about hunting that he's always deserved. This is a very curious form of a safety net however, as it happens to look very much more like a dastardly provision placed in some kind of marriage or inheritance contract out of Trollope.
So, Can You Forgive Her? Here's what we know about Yuni Betancourt: he can't hit and he can't field. I don't think we can really argue those points. Can't field, can't hit. We don't even know if he can actually play second. He's over 30. He's, umm, notoriously non-assiduous regarding his fitness levels. Oh well, there were positive scouting reports about him in 2001, so silly me. And Adam Dunn sucked last year, so we now know that all stats are lies.
As I took to Twitter this afternoon the two defenses of the deal were: he'll never play and he actually helps the roster because the other options are worse. Such a rousing defense of the regime! Apparently, the greatest most super duper farm system of all time can't produce a utility infielder who sucks at fielding and hitting less. And oh, it's all really really irrelevant because our manager does not play bench players anyway. (He just needs the reassurance.)
If you want an actually good move, well, that's asking too much.
I felt the cold draft of 2007 or 2009 tonight or really just all of it in one endless year without a summer. The bad moves pile up and it appears still obvious that, at the most fundamental level, the front office simply does not value outs. The man's been the GM for five years now, and between the Francoeurs and the Yunis and the Sanchezes and the Collinses and the Crows, the Royals might as well offer the opposing team four outs and/or walks at the beginning of the game just to speed things up. Here you go, we literally do not care about the details. Eric Hosmer and Frenchy smilin' and dancin' on flyin' eagles of American awesomeness yay! The Royals will beat you with one hand tied behind their backs, which obviously they can do because they've done it all along. I think we finished third that one time, right?
So remember the $2 million the Royals are paying Yuni when you realize they can't afford to run Fan Fest this year, or when Alex Gordon decides, actually, he'll just as well hit free agency, rather than take a lowball offer from the Royals.
We've lived with it for so long we barely notice, but even the closest Royals observers, including a number of pro-Dayton believers, readily admit that they have utterly no idea what the team is doing. If we read in February that the Royals are considering making Luke Hochevar a setup man, will anyone be surprised? Maybe Broxton can start and Francoeur can play CF, because I hear Getz looked great in the outfield himself. Oh well, the best farm system ever has produced I think half of one pitcher who pitched well above Wilmington and we've got lots of corner infield options and Lo Cain sure is fast and Colon looked at a teammate real serious this one time. And oh, we own the free agent market, because remember how Gil Meche quit a year early.
Another year, another roster that fundamentally does not make sense. The Royals are redundant in the areas they think they have needs and starving in the places they believe they are full. What label would you give the parade of ever more worse shortstops we have known? But, oh, dear Alcides can at least field. Huzza for getting us back to where we were with Andres Blanco seven years ago, had anyone been paying attention. Never worry though, say the defenders, Yuni will... not... play.
He can't field, he can't hit, the boss likes him. That's really all you need to know. Can't field, can't hit, isn't young. Boss wants him around. Boss sees a solution, however minor. Want a snack, here's a bit of indigestible clay. As numerous people with access to Baseball-Reference have pointed out, entirely homegrown teams do not exist. You can have good prospects, sure, but you have to augment them with useful parts. You have to make good trades and sign helpful free agents. How are the Royals going to ever win 90 games under this regime?