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Royals Rumblings - News for December 8, 2015

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Jack's back baby. Jack's back.

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for December 8, 2015

Andy McCullough says that pitching is the priority for the Royals in the Winter Meetings, as they target pitcher Scott Kazmir.

Kazmir appeals to the Royals due to his recent success (a 3.54 ERA with Cleveland and Oakland from 2013 to 2015) and his left-handedness. The Royals have committed to fellow lefty Danny Duffy as a starting pitcher, but the team could choose to shift him back to the bullpen if he continues to struggle in the rotation. Duffy pitched in the 2015 postseason as a reliever.

Don't expect him to come cheap though.

Would adding Kazmir be gnar?

Ben Zobrist expects to sign in the next day or two with the Giants, Mets, and Nats as the three finalists. Dan Syzmborski at ESPN writes that Ben Zobrist is not a good fit for the Mets, but he is a good fit for the Royals.

The Royals acquired Zobrist last season because they didn't have a good option at second base. They still don't. Omar Infante didn't contribute much in 2014 (.252/.295/.337), contributed even less in 2015 (.220/.234/.318), and even if he had some kind of a bounce-back season in 2016, it won't be enough. Omar Moreno got coined Omar the Outmaker for making far fewer outs than Infante. Zobrist fills a need for the world champions, and it's not as though the Royals would get a compensation pick for losing him. Just sign the guy, K.C. -- incumbent champions shouldn't enter seasons with a guy who just put up a .234 on-base percentage in the starting lineup.

Andy McCullough also has the details on the Chris Young contract, which was announced by the club.

Still no official word on Joakim Soria, but Jeffrey Flanagan reports that all that is pending is a physical.

An interesting wrinkle to his deal.

Luke Hochevar has a similar provision.

August Fagerstrom at Fangraphs says the Soria signing maintains the Royals dominant bullpen.

When teams win a World Series, you start to hear about the possibility of "copycat teams," trying to replicate whatever model of success most recently worked for that year’s winners. Last year’s Royals had a few unique characteristics, and one of them was the shutdown bullpen. Fans want their teams to replicate the Royals bullpen, and so fans clamor for their team to sign all the good relievers. The thing about the Royals bullpen these last couple years, though, is that it hasn’t been built through free agency. Holland, Herrera and Hochevar came up through the system. Davis was a failed starter who was slightly more than a throw-in piece in the James Shields/Wil Myers trade. Madson and Morales were picked up off the scrap heap on a minor league deals last season. The genius of the Royals bullpen these last couple years has been how easy they’ve made it look. In that sense, the Soria deal is the Royals breaking character. At the same time, the Royals have money to spend, but not enough for the top-tier free agents, so it’s got to go somewhere, and you can’t bank on finding a Ryan Madson every offseason. Madsons are luxuries, not expectations.

With a Madson, you hope. With a Soria, you expect.

Craig Brown likes the deal because of Joakim Soria's increase in velocity, but health still concerns him.

Three years seems steep on the surface, but this is the going rate for the relief pitching market. Hey, if Ryan Madson who hadn’t thrown in the big leagues for three years can get a three-year/$22 million deal after throwing just over 63 innings, Soria was always going to get a deal of similar length. Having said that, Soria at three years is a risk based on his health record.

Ned Yost likes Brian Flynn as a left-handed option in the bullpen next year.

"He's fine. He is ready to go," Yost said. "He's ready to compete come Spring Training. He was lights out in Spring Training last year, too. It was between him and Madson. How do you send a kid down that had that type of Spring Training that he had? "It's like [you tell him], 'Dude, you just -- man, you got [hosed], buddy. That's all I can say.'"

But Yost sees Flynn as possibly the bullpen's lefty because left-hander Tim Collins, coming off Tommy John surgery, likely won't be ready until May.

The Tigers are out on Alex Gordon, according to General Manager Al Avila.

Jon Heyman reports that Royals minor league free agent Buddy Baumann has five Major League contract offers. The 27-year old southpaw had a 3.04 ERA in 77 innings for Omaha with lefties hitting just .148/.225/.222 against him.

The Royals were one of eleven teams David Price was willing to sign with, but of course they couldn't afford him.

Royals Senior Advisor wins Midwest Scout of the Year.

The Aroldis Chapman trade to the Dodgers may be held up because of a domestic violence incident.

The Mariners get Wade Miley from the Red Sox.

Is it possible the Jeff Samardzija $90 million deal is not crazy?

Kris Bryant and Maikel Franco have filed a grievance alleging manipulation of their service time.

The Hall of Fame Veterans Committee votes to elect no one new from the pre-integration era.

Former USC coach Steve Sarkisian is suing for wrongful discrimination, alleging his dismissal for alcoholism violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Boston College basketball team got sick from eating at Chipotle.

Maybe peer review isn't working in academics.

Why are so many preschoolers getting suspended?

Netflix claims its show Narcos is more popular than HBO's Game of Thrones.

Your song of the day is the Rolling Stones with "Jumping Jack Flash."