Royals Rumblings - News for November 10, 2014
Andy McCullough writes the Royals have lots of questions going into the General Managers meetings that begin today in Phoenix, and writes about potential candidates to fill their team needs.
Position to fill: designated hitter
▪ 1. Billy Butler: No team knows him better. A divorce appeared so likely during the summer, but a solid second half allowed Butler the hope of reconciliation. He plans on testing the market, even though he has expressed his desire to stay a Royal.
▪ 2. Michael Morse: His power is enticing, but his history of injuries is not. Like Butler, Morse is not much of a fielder. And his price figures to jump from a $6 million salary after a solid bounce-back year with the Giants.
▪ 3. Adam LaRoche: He’s a Kansas native, but he may be more interested in staying in the National League, where he can still play first base. Dayton Moore was in Atlanta when the Braves drafted LaRoche in 2000.
Dave Cameron at Fangraphs has his free agent predictions, and doesn't think the Royals can bring everyone back, but still expects them to be spenders.
The Royals probably aren’t going to be able to keep their gang together, but their World Series run should give them enough cash to find some suitable replacements. Ervin Santana (3/$39M) comes back to Kansas City for a second tour, Michael Morse (2/$20M) takes over as the new right-handed DH, and Torii Hunter (2/$18M) becomes the veteran who keeps Jarrod Dyson in a fourth outfielder role.
For that kind of money, I'm pretty sure you would be able to keep the gang together.
George Brett talks about the Zack Greinke deal with Bleacher Report's Scott Miller.
"When they traded Johnny Damon, Damon didn't want to be traded," Royals Hall of Famer George Brett told Bleacher Report during a World Series conversation in San Francisco.
"When they traded Jermaine Dye and Carlos Beltran, they didn't want to be traded. None of those guys wanted to be traded, but we had to trade them."
That was when the Royals were owned by a charitable trust established after the death of owner Ewing Kauffman. But when Greinke wanted out, the team had come out of the trust, and current owner David Glass was in charge.
"You hate to see guys traded who don't want to get traded," Brett continued. "But when you've got a guy on your team who wants to get traded, get him the f**k out of there. Get him out.
"You don't want guys who don't want to be on your team because they can become a cancer in the clubhouse. And so Dayton put together a package, and you don't know back then; Jake Odorizzi, yeah, he could be a decent pitcher; Alcides Escobar, yeah, he's a decent shortstop; Lorenzo Cain, back then, was a really unpolished guy."
Ben Lindbergh at Grantland has his generic free agents that will be better bargains than the name brand free agents. Could Royals outfielder Nori Aoki be one such bargain?
To some extent, reaching on an error is a repeatable skill, and other than being left-handed, Aoki, a ground-ball hitter with speed who puts the ball in play, fits the profile of a player who’s more likely to force misplays. Over the past three seasons, only Elvis Andrus (who’s made almost 300 more plate appearances than Aoki) has reached base on error more often than Aoki’s 35 times. [Nick] Markakis, meanwhile, has reached base on error only 12 times in the same period. All told, Steamer gives Aoki an infinitesimal edge on offense, projecting him for a 106 wRC+ to Markakis’s 105 in 2015.
Aoki is two years older than Markakis, but he’ll probably settle for a shorter contract and could deliver a greater return on investment.
Speaking of Aoki, the Reds are said to be targeting him as a free agent.
The Baseball Prospectus staff has some more notes from the Arizona Fall League.
SS Raul Mondesi (Royals)
The 19-year-old has plus bat speed from the left side and solid present raw power. He also projects for significant strength gains as he matures, and he is highly athletic. That suggests an enormous ceiling for a shortstop. His swing has major aggression and is extremely pull-oriented. While the strength projection and bat speed suggest an enormous power ceiling, the fact that he generates his present power with so much effort and with a dead pull swing suggest it’ll be difficult to maintain all of the power and a viable contact rate. He's a plus runner at present, and if he can maintain that speed even after developing additional strength it adds extra value to the profile. Defensively he has a quick release and clean actions and has a real chance to stay at the position. He's still a long way off, especially at the plate, where his current approach is to swing at everything with bad intentions, but his raw tools are very intriguing.
The Royals add to their cabal of hitting instructors.
Former #MNTwins hitting coordinator Bill Springman has signed on w/#Royals as senior roving hitting adviser: http://t.co/JPv5d69XkM— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) November 7, 2014
Speaking of hitting instructors, Pedro Grifol has emerged as a managerial candidate for the Rays opening. THIS IS NOT A JOKE. He joins bench coach Don Wakamatsu and outfielder Raul Ibanez as potential candidates.
ESPN has end-of-the-season haikus for each team. Guess which team this is for?
Who needs walks, homers?
An "abundance" of bunting
Outfield defense ... whoa!
Hunter Dozier is turning the corner in the Arizona Fall League and has his average up to .211.
SB Nation has their college football playoff and bowl predictions after a wild weekend played by scholar-athletes including this big oopsie.
If you haven't read Jon Bois' "Breaking Madden" series yet, do so. In his latest installment, he looks at whether Mark Sanchez could win a Super Bowl if he played for 100 years.
The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago yesterday, here's how it led to the world we know today.
Royalcoffee clickbait - Americans prefer coffee over cola drinks.
Speaking of cola drinks, Mountain Dew now comes in Doritos-flavored. For real.
"Too Many Cooks" looks promising, but I think their cast is a bit large.
Your song of the day is The Walkmen with "The Rat".