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Royals Rumblings - News for January 5, 2015

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Even Don Denkinger thinks the refs messed up yesterday.

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for January 5, 2015

Craig Brown looks at the Royals salary obligations and the potential payroll crunch in 2016.

It’s an interesting – and dangerous – shell game being played by Dayton Moore, Jin Wong and the Royals front office. By my rough estimations, the Royals have $56 million in commitments for 2016 and that’s just for seven players under contract and six options. Some of those options will be picked up (Wade Davis, Alcides Escobar) so that $56 million is already too low. Plus, that doesn’t include arbitration for players like Greg Holland (if he’s still with the club) or Eric Hosmer. And it doesn’t count whatever money Alex Gordon will get. (He has a player option for around $13 million, which he’s said he will engage, and I’m unaware of the buyout if he declines it.)

David Lesky is also concerned and wonders if we'll see a major shakeup in 2016.

Unless payroll is going to continue to rise in 2016, there’s a few ways you can look at this. You could say that 2015 is the final year of this particular contention window and that the Royals are planning to reload in 2016, but one thing to look ahead to is that you could see a major roster shift in 2016. The Royals will likely need to make a decision on if they want to build their next competitive team around Alex Gordon or if they want to shed some payroll and either build around Hosmer or someone else. My guess is the same thing I’ve been saying all off-season. I think Gordon works out an extension and he’s the guy the team is built around. We’ll see how it shakes out.

Alan Eskew at Baseball America takes a look at Royals reliever Jandel Gustave.

Gustave is not a finished product in any sense. He struggled in low Class A Quad Cities last year as Midwest League hitters had little trouble squaring up his premium stuff. He went 5-5, 5.01 last season, striking out 82 in 79 innings, while trimming his walks to 29. He started most of the season, but worked out of the bullpen late in the season after a stint on the disabled list.

The move to the pen suited him. He was 3-0 with two saves and a 0.78 ERA after the move to the pen, limiting hitters to a .195 batting average and a .513 OPS in 23 innings, while striking out 20 and walking four.

Gustave continued his success in the Dominican League, which caught the attention of Royals scouts. In 10 relief appearances with the Gigantes del Cibao, Gustave posted a 1.93 ERA with 10 strikeouts and five walks in 14 innings. He did not walk a batter in four of his final five appearances, issuing just two free passes in 7 2/3 innings.

On this day, sixteen years ago, George Brett was told he had been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. The nine people that didn't vote for him are idiots.

James Shields reportedly has a $110 million offer from a "MYSTERY TEAM"!

Jen Nevius at "Drinking the Royals Blue Aid" takes a sneak peak at the Royals April schedule.

Former Royals outfielder Johnny Damon was a contestant on "The Celebrity Apprentice" last night. He was one of the celebrities!

Kansas Citians would much rather see the Royals win the World Series than see world peace.

The Cardinals are so classy, unlike those jerky Royals who wore t-shirts mocking their opponents.

Long-time Major League scout Bill Kearns passed away last week at age 94. Kearns scouted for many teams, but was perhaps most instrumental in Kansas City for being the director of the famed Royals Academy that produced Frank White.

MLB's 15 most interesting people in 2015, and none of them drink Dos Equis.

Jose Canseco made ten predictions about 2015, but there may be some obstacles to them becoming true.

People are complaining about that officiating in the Cowboys-Lions game but the real travesty was this attempt at a high five.

Fivethirtyeight wonders if TCU would have given Oregon a better game in the National Semifinal.

Manchester City seems to be using new MLS club NYCFC as a farm club.

RIP Stuart Scott. While known more for his "boo-yeahs", his ESPYs speech while battling cancer was pretty moving.

"Brandons" are firefighters, while "Marthas" are interior designers according to this study on what names are common to which professions.

Your song of the day is The Replacements with "Alex Chilton"