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Royals Rumblings - News for December 22, 2015

All I want for Christmas is a Royals transaction.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for December 22, 2015

Ken Rosenthal writes about the predicament the Royals are inweighing Alex Gordon against future financial flexibility.

Gordon, who turns 32 in February, remains among the unemployed, but seemingly in a more secure position than most. Rival executives and agents say it all the time: "He can always go back to the Royals."

Yoenis Cespedes does not appear to have that option with the Mets. Justin Upton certainly does not have it with the Padres. But the Royals are leaving the proverbial light on for Gordon, hoping that no other team will pay him enough to abandon the comfort he enjoys in Kansas City.

August Fagerstrom at Fangraphs looks at the individual projections for Royals players.

An optimist might say that Hosmer is coming off his career-best season while entering his prime at 26 years old, and has looked, in two of the last three seasons, like the player he was expected to become in his top prospect days.

A pessimist would argue that Hosmer has never pieced together consecutive above-average seasons, and just one year ago was a league-average hitter who turned in a replacement-level season.

Clark Fosler at Royals Authority gives his opinion on Pacific Coast League batting star Jose Martinez.

I probably saw Martinez play six times or so this past summer and Martinez ‘looks’ like a hitter. He was not just swinging and getting lucky. He had a good approach at the plate and, at least in AAA for one summer, strike zone awareness. His walk rate in 2015 was well above his career rate, but he has been a guy who pretty consistently posts an on-base percentage 50 points above his batting average. Not great, but serviceable.

Of course, with Jose Martinez comes plenty of doubt. His slugging percentage was stupid out of line with anything he had done previously. The highest ‘slug’ Jose posted prior to 2015 was .444 in 2014. His career slugging percentage is under .400 and one would expect that extended major league time would likely yield a similar result. Unless…just maybe Martinez has gotten stronger in his later twenties or maybe just plain figured something out. It happens.

Some Baseball Prospectus writers formed a new site on scouting called "2080 Baseball" and this week they report on the Arizona Fall League, including some Royals prospects such as Bubba Starling.

Projectable frame; athletic build with fast-twitch actions; plus arm and athleticism in outfield; played right field in all viewings during AFL; swing has become mildly more consistent since my last viewing in Wilmington; has dropped his hands on pre-swing set; hands still drift during load phase of swing; plus bat speed; mild leverage; average raw power; unrefined approach at the plate; struggles to recognize and hit spin; improved and more consistent player since last year, with a chance at becoming an average regular.

Jamie Quirk is thrilled to be back with the Royals, managing their Class A affiliate.

Then Quirk began a journey as a big league coach for the Rangers, Rockies, Astros and Cubs before landing in the Padres' organization as a Minor League manager the past two seasons. And it was with the Padres when he began wondering what it would be like to get back to the Royals.

"I just kept thinking about how nice it would be to finish my career with the Royals," Quirk said. "It's where I live and it's where I really always wanted to be." And now that has happened. "I just couldn't be happier," Quirk said.

Updates on the Hot Stove:

The Royals will kick off Sunday Night Baseball, but that is their only appearance in the early part of the schedule released so far.

Former Royals farmhand Buddy Baumann signs a Major League deal with the Padres.

The Royals spent $128.8 million on payroll  in 2015, 13th-most in baseball.

Buster Olney looks at the upcoming labor battle in baseball in 2016.

There are some good fanposts you should check out:

ThunderStreetWorkout looks at how Royals players have produced in each spot in the lineup.

He also looks at the "clean inning theory."

Chieeef wants to know whether you think the Royals will sign Lorenzo Cain to a long-term deal.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter is banned from soccer for eight years.

Three decades of Donald Trump cameos in film and television.

Here is all the good stuff that happened in 2015.

The best video games of 2015.

Here are some of the rejected script ideas for the Star Wars sequel (spoiler alert).

Your song of the day is Rancid with "Roots Radical".