Why not start the new year with a few quotes from Dayton Moore? The KC Star caught up with the Royals General Manager and asked about the rumors the Royals could be in on Masahiro Tanaka.
"That’s nothing I’d really say about that, because it doesn’t benefit the Royals in any way to announce what we’re doing or what we’re not doing. There’s nothing I can really say about that. It’s a private negotiation."
Asked and answered. For those angling to replace the shoes of Bob Dutton, this is what you get to do: Ask questions when you know you're not going to get any kind of answer. Honestly, I'm not going to fault Moore for his non-answer answer. I can't think of any GM who would publicly announce he's going to pursue a particular player. Although I am a bit disappointed that Moore didn't add a little something extra. He would have done that if Flanagan asked the question.
Is there any chance the Royals could add somebody else?
"I would look for us to go into spring training with what we have at this point, but I don’t know. The climate changes day by day and we’re always looking for ways to improve our team."
I have the Royals at just north of $94 million for Opening Day payroll. If they are going to add a free agent arm that is one of the top-tier starters remaining (i.e. Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza) they would be pushing their payroll to close to $110 million. Glass has always said that if the Royals have the opportunity to add a key piece to the contention puzzle, he will spend. It looks like 2014 is important for the owner as well. A true acid test for everyone involved with this ball club. Moore made some moves this winter that look to strengthen a lineup that lagged behind league average last summer. Combine that with a strong bullpen and exceptional defense and it looks like the final piece would be a competent starting pitcher.
It's really kind of weird writing this, but Moore has done his job. Now it's time for Glass to give him even more support.
Color me skeptical on that one.
"We feel like our team is better. I like our team. They’ve still got to go out and play and stay healthy. We’ll continue to look for ways to improve."
I'm not certain I agree the team is better. As I said above, Moore has addressed the lineup, but I'm still concerned about the state of the rotation. Jason Vargas isn't helping me feel better. The Royals need to secure one more arm. That's how you improve this team.