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Royals Rumblings - News for December 9, 2015

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Farewell Ben. Farewell.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for December 9, 201

Jeff Passan details how the Cubs were in on Ben Zobrist the entire time.

The Chicago Cubs operate best in stealth mode, hiding in the wake of teams desperate for attention or thirsty for recognition or simply apathetic about the sanctity of discretion. When the Cubs want a player, they circle him, lavish him with attention, foist upon him love and do their best to make sure nobody knows a thing about it.

Which is how after weeks of blather about Ben Zobrist narrowing his list of teams to the Mets, Nationals, Giants and Dodgers, and maybe wanting to stay on the East Coast, and being the No. 1 priority of National League champion New York, and all the blah-blah-yada-yada-fart noise-fart noise that fuels the silly season, he ended up in the warm embrace of the Cubs.

The market for Alex Gordon seems to be heating up.

The Royals are keeping an eye on the future while they negotiate with outfielders.

If the Royals miss out on Gordon, the team could turn to more affordable choices like Gerardo Parra or Denard Span. Moore has not given up hope on keeping their core of Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain together before they become free agents in 2017.

"We’ve got to manage our young players and what they’re going to make in the future, what our goals are with trying to keep them in Kansas City," Moore said. "Along with how that matches up with any free agent we potentially sign."

They checked in on Yoenis Cespedes. Briefly.

But that did not preclude the Royals from inquiring on Cespedes, as well. However, Kansas City has come to a rather quick conclusion that Cespedes’ price tag will almost certainly be beyond its comfort zone. Gordon will cost a lesser, more tolerable amount. Royals GM Dayton Moore has acknowledged the team will try to save money by giving Jarrod Dyson a chance to be one of their regular corner outfielders.

More internal options!

The Royals are on the prowl for pitching.

Joakim Soria chose the Royals over the Tigers.

Sam Mellinger likes trading out Ryan Madson for Joakim Soria.

At least as we sit here in early December, and we all understand I’m a newspaper hack and not a scout, it sure looks like the Royals got a better and younger alternative when compared to Ryan Madson. The money is comparable — three years and $22 million for Madson, three years and $25 million for Soria — and each guy has some specific injury red flags, so I think you go with the one you feel more comfortable with. Madson had a better statistical season in 2015, but I worry about how he’ll hold up, and whether the playoffs exposed a problem in needing to keep him away from certain matchups.

Also, can we all agree that the money in baseball is way past the point of silliness, and that we should just accept it and move on? Because nothing will turn a millennial into the old man talking about what he used to be able to buy for a nickel quite like escalating salaries for big-league baseball players. The market is the market, and you’re either playing or you’re not. Revenues continue to spike, with promises of even more coming, so it’s only fair that the players get their share.

Craig Calcaterra writes that Ned Yost is having the last laugh at his critics.

For now, though, Yost is more than entitled to his victory lap. He’s entitled to bask in the glory of a world championship and he’s entitled to tell his naysayers that they were wrong. Partially because rings are all that ultimately matter in sports and, next April, he’ll get his ring. But also because he no doubt remembers how, back in 2012, he famously revealed that, when he went to Starbucks for a coffee in Kansas City, he’d give a fake name to the barista so his critics would not be alerted to his presence when his name was called.

Now, though? "When I go to Kansas City, it’s hard to go out anywhere without getting standing ovations and stuff like that," Yost says. "I mean, it’s absolutely crazy, going to a restaurant, you just kind of want to sneak in." Yost then does a one-man impression of a clapping and cheering crowd, the likes of which he frequently encounters these days.

Did the crowds change, or did Yost? Who really evolved here?

Some Royals fans didn't take the Ben Zobrist news very well.

Dayton Moore accepts the Esurance Executive of the Year Award.

Ned Yost is ranked the third-handsomest manager in baseball.

Jarrod Dyson was grand marshal of a Christmas parade in his hometown in Mississippi.

Here is your update on Royals in Winter League play.

Now for sale:

Then what happened?

Shelby Miller gets dealt to the Diamondbacks for a great package of prospects.

We have a MYSTERY TEAM in the Jose Fernandez trade talks!

Who will take a chance on Johnny Cueto?

Dusty Baker showed how NOT to address domestic violence allegations in a press conference.

What's the best team you could put together for $30 million, or less than what Zack Greinke will earn in one year?

The Economist looks at whether contract opt-outs help players or teams.

The BBWAA votes to allow MLB.com writers into its organization.

Ownership for the Philadelphia 76ers is not trusting the process.

The Big 12 will require its football teams to play other power conference opponents in the non-conference schedule.

Manchester United gets bounced out of the Champions League.

The University of Colorado-Denver is ranked number one for graduates' salaries, but are they responsible for those outcomes?

Will Quentin Tarantino's 70mm road show for The Hateful Eight change the future of film?

Your song of the day is Elliot Smith with "A Fond Farewell."