Royals Rumblings - News for December 3, 2015
Jerry Crasnick at ESPN gives the latest on Ben Zobrist.
Ben Zobrist is on a fact-finding mission this week in conjunction with his free agent search. The versatile, veteran switch-hitter is currently visiting suitors on the East Coast and will make a trip to the West Coast later this week, according to a source. The Dodgers, Nationals, Mets and Giants are all teams with an active interest.
As the price for Zobrist continues to rise (to 3-4 years and $15-17 million annually, by some estimates), it appears that the Kansas City Royals don't have much of a shot at bringing him back in 2016. The Cubs and Cardinals both like Zobrist, but both teams have a lot of balls in the air and might not have the playing time to accommodate him unless they can make some moves to create at-bats.
There's enough interest in Zobrist -- and he's done enough personal research -- that it won't be a surprise to see him pick his new team by the winter meetings in Nashville next week.
The A's are a "legitimate suitor" for Ryan Madson.
The Royals continue to be tied to Joakim Soria rumors.
Craig Brown at Royals Authority points out the escalating money for pitching puts a big burden on Dayton Moore.
The developments of Tuesday and the rest of the week underscore how important it is for Dayton Moore and company to draft and develop pitchers. Or failing the development part (which is the norm for the Royals) they at least need to draft well enough to flip those prospects for real major league talent. Moore has inked a handful of free agent starters the last couple of seasons. Jason Vargas signed for four years at $32 million. Edinson Volquez joined for two years at $20 million. Vargas’ injury aside, those deals look quaint in the current economic landscape. And they aren’t especially old deals....
That places a massive burden on the draft. Which means it comes down to the development of starting pitchers. For all the accolades Moore has received the last couple of seasons, he’s gotten a bit of a pass here. But the evidence is clear and disturbing: The Royals have consistently failed when it comes to this aspect of the game.
David Lesky at Pine Tar Press thinks the Royals should look at some old friends.
Instead, let’s look to a blast from the not-so-distant past and check in on James Shields. The Padres are likely trying to unload him as they look to regain some of the prospects they traded in their ill-guided attempt at fielding a juggernaut last year. Shields is going to make $21 million per year in each of the next three seasons, but he is a guy you can count on for big innings every year. He struggled in 2015, but I think there were a lot of factors that weren’t likely to be repeated. So he’s the target to get innings for the rotation, but let’s take a look around San Diego to see if anyone else could fill any of the other spots the Royals have open.
As it turns out, they have a young outfielder who isn’t yet arbitration eligible who is athletic, has big time power potential and could replace the patience if the Royals were to lose Gordon and Zobrist. He’s an old friend too. Say hello to Wil Myers. A bad 2014 with the Rays when playing through an injury makes his career numbers look rough, but he’d be a good bet to replace Gordon’s offensive numbers with the upside to do more. Myers is no Gordon defensively, but if you keep him out of center field, he can certainly be average with the chance to be better since he is so athletic.
J.J. Cooper at Baseball America gives his take on the Tony Cruz deal.
Cruz isn’t much of a hitter himself (career .220/.262/.310 line in 259 MLB games), but he has been a solid catch-and-throw receiver, although statistically he’s been a little below-average as a pitch framer. He’s a backup catcher, one who is only useful as long as he stays inexpensive.
John Viril at Kings of Kauffman does not think Kendrys Morales was deserving of his Designated Hitter Award.
Even if the voters threw out Edwin Encarnacion because he played 59 games at first base, that leaves both David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez as designated hitters who had more home runs, higher OPS+ values, and higher offensive WAR values than Kendrys Morales. In an era in which analytics are driving awards more than ever before, the designated hitter award voters went old school on us: they elected Kendrys Morales because his team won the World Series. It’s really the only reason that makes sense.
Royals Hall of Famer Mike Sweeney is now on Twitter.
Royals Charities gives a $100,000 check to the RBI Program.
Jonah Keri gives each American League team's needs before the Winter Meetings.
Zack Greinke is deciding between the Dodgers and Giants.
Nori Aoki goes to Seattle on a one-year deal.
Beyond the Boxscore looks back at the AL Central.
One of the best Cuban baseball players, second baseman Jose Miguel Fernandez, has defected.
Here's your complete list of non-tenders from yesterday. Old friends Aaron Crow and David Lough are now free agents.
The Padres send Yonder Alonso to the Athletics, opening a spot at first for Wil Myers.
The San Diego Padres introduce new uniforms.
Tracy Ringolsby points out that it is very rare for an athlete in any sport to stick with one franchise his entire career.
University of Minnesota football player Peter Mortell declares himself "Holder of the Year."
Here's your SB Nation Holiday Gift Guide.
Living near a transit line may be good for your mental health.
Mark Zuckerberg pledges 99% of his Facebook shares to charity.
A movie studio had to deny the rumor that Leonardo DiCaprio was sexually assaulted by a bear on the set of the movie The Revenant.
The new Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer was unveiled last night.
Your song of the day is KWS with "Please Don't Go."