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Royals Rumblings - News for December 4, 2014

Torii Hunter is as classy as they come.

Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for December 4, 2014

Sam Mellinger writes that the Royals need to spend some scratch to improve next year and that reliable free agents like Ervin Santana, Melky Cabrera, Alex Rios, or Colby Rasmus could be targets.

He is, in other words, exactly the kind of player for whom the Royals’ risk would be diminished. Advanced metrics that attempt to eliminate the "noise" of luck and defense indicate Santana actually pitched better for the Braves in 2014 than he did for the Royals in 2013, even though the more traditional measurement of ERA was worse.

Santana, then, would seem to represent the lowest risk for the Royals. Better than the alternatives, at least, like Francisco Liriano (poor control, and unreliable), Brandon McCarthy (long injury history) and Brett Anderson (more injury history)....

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But the common thread in all of the Royals’ top targets — Santana, Cabrera and Rios — is a level of comfort that the club would be buying something reliable in relative baseball terms.

The Royals need money to make this happen, of course. All of these players are likely to earn eight-figure salaries, though Rios and perhaps Rasmus could be available on one- or two-year contracts.

Jeffrey Flanagan writes that although Luke Hochevar has returned to the pen, don't look for reliever Wade Davis to go back to the rotation.

The addition of Hochevar, though, does not mean the Royals will tinker with setup man Wade Davis, a former starter, and move him back into the rotation, where the Royals are trying to fill the hole vacated by free agent James Shields.

Moving Davis back to the rotation was talked about internally, but only in passing.

"Not something we would consider with Wade at this time," the source said.

Clark Fosler at Royals Authority writes the Royals need to do more than just fill the holes left by the departing James Shielsd, Billy Butler, and Nori Aoki.

All said, the Royals need to do more than just ‘replace’ Shields, Butler and Aoki and cannot rely upon the current group to improve enough to make up the difference.  Let’s have some fun and say that Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain are going to be the guys they were in the post-season for all of 2015 AND let’s say Danny Duffy will parlay 150 innings of very good pitching into 210 innings of the same AND let’s say the bullpen is just as good as last year:  that still feels like about 89 wins.  All that might not be enough to get back to the playoffs, much less the World Series.

Hunter Samuels at Kings of Kauffman approves of the Luke Hochevar signing.

This signing makes a lot of sense for the Royals, considering they want to maintain their outstanding run prevention ability from 2014, especially in the later innings. I don’t know if I would have given the second year guaranteed, but it’s unlikely Hochevar produces nothing in 2016, and his salary shouldn’t keep the Royals from making other moves. Hochevar is a good reliever, and the Royals now have the option of either having an absolutely crazy-good bullpen, or just a crazy-good bullpen with perhaps a better offense, and neither of those options appear to be too bad.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports stopped by 610 to discuss the Royals and what they might get for Greg Holland in a trade.

Buster Olney gives insight on what the Royals might do if they land Melky Cabrera, who Jon Heyman reported they had interest in.

Torii Hunter is a class act in Minnesota.

Vote for Kauffman Stadium in The Sporting News' "Best Ballpark Bracket". We're in the Elite Eight up against favorite Fenway Park.

Jonah Keri of Grantland has Part 1 of his MLB Trade Value column. Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer just miss the cut as he lists the Top 50 most valuable players in terms of trade value.

Billy Beane reportedly traded Josh Donaldson in part because of an argument the two of them had. For being a cold, objective analyst, Beane has made two-high profile trades reportedly fueled by clubhouse/off-the-field concerns.

Carson Cistulli at Fangraphs looks at Steamer projections for non-tendered players. Outfielder Kyle Blanks and pitcher Kris Medlen look like the best available.

Paul Casella at Sports on Earth takes a look at past Winter Meetings to give us a guide as to what to expect when the baseball world convenes next week.

Buster Olney, Jayson Stark, and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN also go over a Winter Meetings preview in their podcast.

Rob Neyer wonders now that umpire Dale Scott is out of the closet, would it be appropriate if an umpire had a relationship with a ballplayer?

The NFL playoff scenarios could be quite silly. Here are five ridiculous scenarios that could actually happen.

The bad guy from "Sherlock" will be a bad guy in the next James Bond movie.

Google is making porn-free internet searching. I think that leaves just three websites to search from.

Rembert Browne does a cool interview with Chris Rock on Grantland.

100 brains are missing from the University of Texas. How many of them belong to their current football team?

Your song of the day is The Hollies with "Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)"