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Royals Rumblings - News for December 1, 2015

Who hasn't turned down $120 million at least once in their life?

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for December 1, 2015

Ben Zobrist is expected to sign by the end of the Winter Meetings next week, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.

The fate and tenor of the Mets’ offseason figures to be settled at the Winter Meetings next week —fittingly, right in Ben Zobrist’s neck of the woods. Zobrist, the Mets’ top free-agent target, likely will make his decision by Dec. 10, when the meetings conclude in Nashville, at the latest. The switch-hitting utility player, who lives in nearby Franklin, Tenn., has many suitors in addition to the Mets, with NL East neighbors Atlanta and Washington among them, and the Mets don’t appear inclined to offer a fourth guaranteed year despite their affection for Zobrist, who will turn 35 next May 26.

Peter Gammons reports there has been a lot of Alex Gordon "to the Cubs" speculation.

The Cubs are also "in the mix" for Ben Zobrist, although he wants to play second base.

Johnny Cueto turns down $120 million from the Diamondbacks. Probably because he's drawing a lot of interest from other clubs.

David Schoenfield of ESPN looks at where he might end up.

Jim Bowden at ESPN has his top offseason targets and fallbacks for each team.

The Royals have made retaining their own players their top priority this offseason and are trying to re-sign second baseman Ben Zobrist and left fielder Alex Gordon. Both are in extreme demand, however, and will do well on the open market. The Royals will go only so far for either player, and if Zobrist and/or Gordon truly want to return to Kansas City, they'd probably have to do so for fewer years and dollars.

Fall-back options: Carlos Gonzalez, Jay Bruce, Marcell Ozuna, Randal Grichuk

The Blue Jays are targeting Royals free agent reliever Ryan Madson.

The Royals lose right-handed reliever Michael Mariot on waivers to the Phillies. The 27-year old was designated for assignment last week and had a 3.34 ERA in 62 innings for Omaha.

Jeffrey Flanagan writes that Kyle Zimmer should make his MLB debut this upcoming season.

"He's a guy who we think can help us at the big league level some time next season," Picollo said. "He has terrific stuff."....

The Royals purposely used Zimmer in the bullpen for most of the season to keep his innings down and also to keep him pitching regularly. Zimmer will be a starter at Omaha.

"We definitely view him as a starter -- and potentially a frontline starter," Picollo said.

David Lesky at Pine Tar Press looks ahead to the 2018 Royals.

I think the Royals get an extension done with Lorenzo Cain, and maybe even in the next few weeks. I think you see something like five years and $60 million (2016-$6 million, 2017-$9 million, 2018-2020-$15 million). The hope and the plan is that Bubba Starling is a big league regular by 2017 and maybe even mid-way through 2016. That’ll be good because it’ll push Cain to right field where he can preserve his legs a bit. So that just leaves a left fielder for 2018.

I think getting a deal done with Gordon just makes too much sense given the makeup of this team. But if they don’t, Brett Eibner is an option as is Bonifacio or maybe even guys like Alfredo Escalara-Maldanado or Amalani Fukofuka. The issue is that they have a need now. They could sign a guy to a short-term deal this winter for two years and then hope one of these guys is ready by then, but I think they get their 2018 left fielder in the next few weeks. You know all the names out there for this.

David Hill at Kings of Kauffman thinks Brett Eibner may finally get his chance this year.

Royals minor league first baseman Balbino Fuenmayor is recovering well from an ACL injury, according to his agent.

Full playoff shares for the Royals were $370,000 each, with 58 shares handed out, according to a vote of players.

I wonder how Kansas City fans feel about Donald Trump's baseball example.

The Red Sox sign Chris Young, but not OUR Chris Young.

Former Royals catcher Brayan Pena signs with the Cardinals and I don't believe in anything anymore.

Justin Maxwell signs a minor league deal with the Marlins.

Grant Brisbee writes that the Tigers just can't stop spending.

Trade talks are heating up over Braves pitcher Shelby Miller, including a rumored trade proposal for Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson.

Barry Bonds could become a hitting instructor in Miami.

Andrew McCutchen is awesome.

Entertainer Marc Antony is getting into the sports agent business, picking up Aroldis Chapman as a client.

Mizzou says "no thanks" to a bowl bid with their losing record, while K-State players will vote on it.

The Monmouth basketball team is my new favorite team because of their epic celebrations.

Wichita State will install one of the largest scoreboards at a college baseball stadium in the country.

Is 98% of academic research in the humanities never cited?

Toys are getting hacked through the internet and its pretty creepy.

George Lucas says he's been hiding from the internet for the last fifteen years.

Victor Frankenstein has the worst box-office opening for a wide-release in the last 30 years.

Your song of the day is Max Frost with "White Lies."