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Royals Rumblings - News for December 23, 2014

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You can still order your 2014 Kansas City Royals World Champion shirts, apparently.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for December 23, 2014

Clark Fosler at Royals Authority thinks 2015 is an interesting experiment to see how much smarter Dayton Moore is than sabermetric thinking.

We are going to find out just how much luck and how much ‘process’ was involved in the very fun 2014 season soon enough.  So, if Dayton Moore really is smarter than us:

Kendrys Morales will do post something akin to his .277/.336/.449 line of 2013 (that included 34 doubles and 23 home runs). I’ll be honest, this contract is the one I hate the most, but he was better in the near past – certainly that excludes 2014 – than my feeble memory originally believed.  Look, this is a ‘is Dayton Moore smarter than you’ column, not a ‘Dayton Moore is a wizard’ column.  Asking any more from Morales than he what he did for Seattle two seasons ago is simply not realistic.  I’m not sure it’s realistic to even expect that, but certainly Moore does.

David Lesky at Pine Tar Press likes the Kris Medlen signing in part, because he thinks the Royals might be more willing to move a pitching prospect to get a bat, if needed.

One thing the move does is it frees the Royals up to make some moves now that they have some depth. If a team has a player the Royals just can’t say no to and it costs one of their top pitching prospects, I think they can afford to at least think about the deal now. Maybe come the deadline, they feel like they really need another big bat and one becomes available, but it would cost Kyle Zimmer. Previously, the Royals were worried that they wouldn’t be able to overcome losing him, but now they might feel like they can withstand that loss and they can make that move. It could also free them to trade a guy like Jeremy Guthrie at the deadline if they feel Medlen is ready to step into the rotation. Maybe there’s a team in contention that needs some innings due to injuries and has a second baseman to spare (or maybe even a Mike Moustakas replacement). The point is that it opens up a ton of options for the Royals to play with when they might really need to make a move.

David Hill at Kings of Kauffman still holds out hope that Jorge Bonifacio can be the right-fielder of the future, despite a disappointing 2014 season.

Yet, delving deeper into Jorge Bonifacio’s numbers, it appears as though his batting line is not as bad as it would appear. Bonifacio hit the ball fairly hard, with a 20.3% line drive rate, slightly above the 18.2% average of the Texas League. The strikeout rate of 22.4% was a bit higher than average, but Bonifacio did offset that with a higher than average walk rate at 8.8%. It may well be that his strikeout issues were more due to being overly selective at the plate instead of being overmatched.

Likewise, his raw batting numbers may not be everything that they would seem to be. While Bonifacio hit the ball well, he only had a .295 batting average on balls in play, slightly below the league average of .302. A bit more luck with the batted ball, and an attacking approach at the plate, may have those numbers turn around rapidly.

August Fagerstrom at Fangraphs takes a look at how each team's 40 man roster was acquired. The Royals have 22 homegrown players on their roster, tied for fourth most in baseball. He also takes a look at how much each team has spent on free agents, calculating their dollar per projected WAR. The Royals don't fare as badly as you might think.

Royals 2014 World Champion t-shirts are showing up in a store in Joplin, Missouri.

Brian McRae talks to KWB Radio about playing for his dad with the Royals.

What a relief - pitcher Casey Coleman and outfielder Moises Sierra both cleared waivers and were assigned to Omaha.

The Pirates win the bidding on Korean free agent infielder Jung-Ho Kang. Don't blame me, I signed Kodos.

Kansas basketball was blown out of the gym last night, and not to Kentucky.

Is Mizzou football coach Gary Pinkel starring in the "Breaking Bad" spinoff?

Speaking of which, "Better Call Saul" has a new trailer with actual footage from the show.

The best in long-form sports journalism from SB Nation in 2014.

The Atlantic names their best movies of 2014.

(SPOILER ALERT ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OF SANTA CLAUS) Should parents stop lying to their kids about Santa Claus?

North Korea's internet has shut down leading to two questions: (1) did the United States do this as retaliation for the Sony hacking; and (2) North Korea had the internet?

Your song of the day is Johnny Cash with "Christmas Time's a Comin'."