As many of you may remember, RoyalsRetro had the bright idea to run a week-long simulation of the 2012-2013 off-season with members of the SBNation community taking the reins of each team's roster as it stood at the end of the 2012 season. Faux trades were made. Fake free agents were signed. Real players were fictionally designated for assignment.
I volunteered to run the Royals in this simulation. Ned Yost was fired, and Brian Bannister replaced him as the team's manager. I wheeled. I dealed [I know it's dealt, reader]. Since I have been rather vocal in my disapproval of Dayton Moore's off-season, it only seems fair that I compare the fruits that are borne from my fake off-season to see just how my fake off-season measures up to Moore's real one.
Now before I get too far into this, I want to make it completely clear that there is no way in hell I think I could actually be a Major League General Manager. In this sim, I was engaging with other fans/writers. Were I working with/against actual General Managers like Andrew Friedman or Billy Beane, I'm sure I would get fleeced left and right. I would also surely not have gotten the trades done that I did against proper GMs. This was merely an exercise, a distraction in an otherwise dismal and dreary off-season.
For comparison through this first month of the season, let us first look at the Royals as Dayton Moore constructed them. This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive look at things. Here's a snapshot of the position players:
And the pitching:
For the sake of easiest comparison between the two teams, we shall look at cumulative Wins Above Replacement. Through the first 24 games of the season, the Royals actual roster has netted a total of 7.0 fWAR and 6.6 rWAR. That is good for an average of 6.8 WAR.
So how have Old Man Duggan's Shadow Royals fared? See for yourself. Position players:
And the pitchers:
For those keeping track at home, that is 6.2 fWAR and 4.3 rWAR for an average of 5.25 WAR.
I will note that Blake Wood was also retained in the simulation. He is currently on the 60-day DL making $507K. I was planning on having Smith in the minors, but given the injury to Wood, he'd likely be in the Majors, so I will leave him in there for the sake of the exercise. On Monday, Marc Rzepczynski was optioned to Triple-A, so we'll see how that affects the totals.
Obviously it's a bit more difficult comparing the Shadow Royals to the real Royals, as the Shadow Royals are relying upon six players who are currently playing in Omaha, for the purposes of totaling the WAR I just left their values at zero, but even if they averaged 0.1 Wins apiece that would increase the WAR total by half a win. Playing time for Jarrod Dyson would have increased over the first three weeks or so, as he was going to play. Wil Myers would have gotten called up last week. Trevor Bauer, who has been dominating the International League, would be getting the call soon, too. Other than that, most of those players could be expected to be roughly replacement-level.
Over the course of the week's transactions, I also shipped off John Lamb, Mike Montgomery, Yordano Ventura, Elier Hernandez, Jason Adam, Christian Colon, J.C. Sulbaran, and Robinson Yambati in deals and signed Mitch Maier, Brandon Inge, Jesus Flores, and Kyle McClellan to minor-league deals for organizational depth. Inge had a clause in his contract that he had to be on the 25-man roster by June 1st. If he somehow made the team over one of the utility infielders, he's been worth 0.3 fWAR and 0.4 rWAR.
The Shadow Royals had a total payroll of $69.1MM, so $12.77MM less than the Royals payroll. With the infusion of Bauer and Myers into the lineup, it would be hard to argue that the Shadow Royals weren't set up much better for the future (at least if you believe in Bauer and Myers), even if the first month wasn't as kind to them as it was the actual Royals.
Rip into me at your leisure.