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Royals Rumblings - News for December 15, 2014

Is it time to buy stock in Carlos Peguero?

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for December 15, 2014

Vahe Gregorian argues the Royals should keep the bullpen together unless they are bowled over with an offer.

Because no matter how the Royals are able to upgrade offensively, it’s hard to believe it will be enough to radically change their power game and reduce their margin for error.

Even if the reality is that bullpens are fickle and tend to fluctuate year to year and that past performance is no guarantee of future results, even if injuries loom, that’s all as much an argument for maintaining the essential group as for breaking it up.

If one falters, then, it wouldn’t be critical.

But one trade or one injury is all it would take to puncture the dynamics of this, and you need look only to last season to see how volatile pitchers’ health can be

David Schoenfeld of ESPN targets the Royals as the playoff team from last year most likely to fade.

Back to the question. Right now I'd go with the Kansas City Royals as the team least likely to return to the playoffs. Reasons why:

1. They weren't that good last year, winning 89 games and outscoring their opponents by just 27 runs. If the average playoff team wins seven fewer games, 82 wins isn't going to cut it.

2. The Royals' success was based on pitching and defense. Pitching and defense are less consistent, less predictable year to year than offense.

3. There's the perception that the Royals are a young team and thus could improve. This isn't really true. The Royals were slightly younger than the American League average in position players (average age, using weighted at-bats and games from Baseball-Reference: 28.2 versus 28.8) but slightly older than average on the pitching staff (28.9 versus 28.5). The Royals were basically league average in age.

On the bright side, ESPN has taken notice of us!

Jim Bowden gives Dayton Moore a "D" for his moves at the Winter Meetings.

The Royals made the World Series for the first time in 29 years, and instead of adding to the roster and trying to win it next year, they've spent the offseason saying goodbye to top-of-rotation starter/leader James Shields and DH Billy Butler. They did bring back Jason Frasor and took a flyer on DH Kendrys Morales in an ill-advised move after a dismal 2014 season. Their trade of Aaron Crow to the Marlins was based on a poor September, a deal they could regret in time.

I assume the "D" stands for "Dynamite moves, Dayton!"

Miles Wray of Fangraphs writes the Kendrys Morales signing is quite a gamble.

The thing is, Morales has actually performed really well as a DH during the two "normal" years of his career when DH was his primary position...

Although I’ve come around on the A’s signing Butler, we also have to consider the old truism that the Royals are the team that knows Butler’s health, condition, et cetera, better than anybody else — and they weren’t interested in keeping him around.

If Morales returns to his "normal-season" production, the Royals just might have squeezed some positive dollars-per-WAR value out of the expensive free agent market.

The columnist for the Tacoma News-Tribune is incredulous that Kendrys Morales got a raise after his disastrous 2014 season.

Morales moves at the speed of a PBS pledge-drive break. His defense is limited to the occasional appearance at first base, on those days the starting first baseman is down with food poisoning after sharing some leftover pizza with the backup first baseman.

To be fair, Kansas City obtained the switch-hitting Morales as a DH, a role previously occupied by Oakland-bound free agent Billy Butler. The Royals have guaranteed Morales about $13 million less than the Athletics gave Butler, and feel free to presume they see the acquisition of Seattle’s former cleanup hitter as a bargain.

I see it as further evidence of a world under an attack of body snatchers from another planet, and that once-keen general managers are their first victims.

Read more here:

Fox Sports Kansas City announced the games they will broadcast in a Royals marathon on Christmas Eve.

Eric Hosmer is a regular Billy Crystal.

The White Sox continue to improve their team, adding former Royals outfielder Melky Cabrera. The Sox had a "stealthy pursuit" of the free agent.

Here are MLB Trade Rumors' top ten remaining free agents.

Major League Baseball is being sued by minor league players for violations of federal labor practices.

Johnny Manziel had quite a rookie debut for the Browns.

Bill Barnwell at Grantland looks at quarterbacks who could be traded this off-season.

Kobe Bryant passes Michael Jordan to become third all-time in NBA scoring.

Slate lists the top 25 podcast episodes of all-time. All time? Their list is heavily skewed towards podcast episodes that occurred in the internet age!

Left-handers make significantly less in the workplace, unless you're a pitcher.

Ridley Scott's "Exodus" got hammered in reviews.

Your song of the day is Jocelyn Alice and Right the Stars with "So Groovy."