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Royals Rumblings - News for January 15, 2016


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John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for January 15, 2016

Craig Brown at Royals Authority looks at the Royals' quest for starting pitching.

At this point, I’d lean toward Kennedy over another oft-mentioned free agent candidate in Yovanni Gallardo. Like Kennedy, Gallardo is tied to a qualifying offer. Unlike Kennedy, Gallardo has seen his velocity and strikeout rate tumble the last several seasons. Kennedy’s strikeout rate has gone up every single season since he became a starter. Seriously, it’s climbed each of the last five years, going from 7.79 SO/9 to last year’s 9.30 SO/9. That’s not a trend that can continue obviously, but give me the guy who has had his rate move in a positive direction the last several seasons over the guy who has seen his drop.

David Lesky at Pine Tar Press writes the Royals are the favorites to repeat as division champs.

I’m not prepared to say the Royals are a better team than the 95-win model we saw in 2015, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see them actually improve. Of course, they could be a fundamentally better team and win less games because it is true that the rest of the division appears to be much improved. For my money, I think the Tigers get back to being the Royals main competition. Cabrera and Martinez are healthier than they were last season. Theoretically, they get to add a healthy Anibal Sanchez and Jordan Zimmermann to their rotation, which should help. And the bullpen at least appears to be better.

I believe in the World Series champs heading into the 2016 season, but it certainly won’t be nearly as easy as it was in 2015. Still, I wouldn’t mind another easy coast to the playoffs. That was sure fun.

J.J. Cooper at Baseball America hypothesizes some "prospect-for-prospect" trades.

Royals trade OF Brett Eibner and RHP Pedro Fernandez to Cubs for 1B Dan Vogelbach and 2B Arismendy Alcantara.

Hey, not all the trades are blockbusters. Eibner is one of a seemingly endless number of Royals’ outfielders on the 40-man roster (they have 10 in total). He’s blocked at his best position (center field) by Lorenzo Cain and is being pushed by Bubba Starling coming up behind him. But he is coming off an excellent .303/.364/.514 season at Triple-A Omaha and he is a true center fielder, so he could be a useful backup plan for a Cubs’ lineup that’s doesn’t have many options if Jason Heyward misses time in center field. Yes, Chicago also has Albert Almora, but Eibner is closer to big league ready. Fernandez is yet another promising arm (he sits 92-94 mph and touches 96) who could add to the Cubs’ attempts to build up a still-thin crop of minor league pitching prospects.

Buster Olney ranks the Royals as the eighth-best outfield in baseball.

With Alex Gordon having re-signed, the Royals have put the band back together again for at least one more and probably two more summer tours. Gordon is in left field, where his defense has regressed somewhat, according to metrics, but he is still a very good defender. Lorenzo Cain is in center field, still seemingly growing as a player after getting a late start on his baseball career. Cain's .838 OPS last season was a career high, as were his 58 extra-base hits and 37 walks. Jarrod Dyson could get a lot of time in right field, along with Paulo Orlando.

Raul Mondesi talks about his historic Major League debut in the World Series and what is in store for him in 2016.

I have to improve little by little in everything. The team has talked to me about my hitting and people want to help me. I want to improve my hitting. After that I'm prepared to play baseball and help the team win.

John Viril at Kings of Kauffman wonders if the Royals could have won last year without Johnny Cueto.

Seven Royals, including Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, and Danny Duffy, filed for arbitration this week.

Meet "Chiefs Cat Suit Guy", who you may remember as "Royals Cat Suit Guy" last summer.

Jarrod Dyson has a street in his hometown in Mississippi named after him.

Dee Gordon signs a five-year contract extension with the Marlins.

MLB tells teams they must provide a full-time Spanish-language interpreter for players this season.

Scouts are getting laid off left and right this winter.

The Dodgers have six former GMs in their front office.

A review of how projection systems fared in 2015.

Players with abnormally good contract years end up getting paid more.

The St. Louis Browns nearly moved to Los Angeles instead of Baltimore.

The physics of broken-bat home runs.

Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson will be the next coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Vikings kicker Blair Walsh visits grade-schoolers who sent letters of support to him after his missed kick.

Sporting Kansas City trades its first round pick in the MLS Superdraft for cash considerations.

The Supreme Court will address what is Puerto Rico exactly? A state? Territory? A sandwich?

This could be an amazing ice volcano on Pluto.

How did the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" visual effects team make things work without relying so much on CGI?

Your song of the day is Sepalot with "Go Get It."