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Royals Rumblings - News for January 18, 2016

Pitchers and catchers report in 31 days.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for January 18, 2016

Richard Justice at thinks the American League Central is wide open.

Key additions: Re-signing left fielder Alex Gordon is huge. Re-signing right-hander Chris Young deepens the rotation. Likewise, free-agent reliever Joakim Soria and the bullpen

Strength: Bullpen, defense and winning core. Questions: Mostly about the rotation. Can Kris Medlen bounce back from two elbow surgeries? Will Yordano Ventura mature into the ace he's expected to be? With Ben Zobrist gone, can Omar Infante -- or someone -- fill a big hole at second base?

Path to October: Not that complicated. Keep the pitchers healthy. Get the usual from Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, etc. Keep the magic going.

John Benjamin at Forbes Magazine says that Alex Gordon's contract only helps the Royals.

In a sense, Kansas City team management has built up a sort of "You take care of us, we take care of you" system with its prospects and given the Royals’ success over the past two years, it appears to be working. On top of that, it just doesn’t make sense to give Gordon a crazy long-term contract that will pay him more than $20 million a year and keep him in Kansas City until his 40s, as recent trends show teams are getting burned with those types of deals. The New York Yankees inked Alex Rodriguez to a 10-year, $275 million deal prior to 2008 and though he did well in his first year back from a PED suspension, the Yankees owe the 40-year-old $40 million over the next two years and wouldn’t mind being rid of the deal.

Scott Dillon at KC Kingdom thinks Danny Duffy is the odd man out of the rotation.

Danny Duffy heads to the bullpen if I’m right. I think Duffy has the stuff to be dominate out of the pen. If he can focus on refining his best three pitches so that he only has to get through three hitters rather than three times through the order, he has the makings of a high strikeout set-up reliever. He could also be used as a spot starter if the Royals get in a jam.

John Viril at Kings of Kauffman is doubtful Greg Holland returns to Kansas City.

What they’d be getting, however, is the question. Recent studies suggest a return rate of around 80% after Tommy John surgery according to the Hardball Times. Most take at least a year time before they can appear in the major leagues, but full recovery often takes another six months to a year before reaching their full post-surgery ability. In short, the dominant Greg Holland is not what you expect to be getting for the playoffs next season. And there’s a 20% chance that Holland never returns at all.

Dayton Moore may not be done yet.

John Socre at Baseball Essential ranks his top 20 Royals prospects.

High school students from Pembroke Hill design a Royals World Championship trophy to win a contest.

Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts found Mets fans so annoying in the NLCS he rooted for the Royals.

Chris Davis signs a seven-year, $161 million deal with the Orioles.

Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak says there is growing support for the designated hitter in the National League.

The domestic abuse trial for Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes will be on Opening Day and he could face deportation if convicted.

The NCAA will now allow MLB draftees to use agents to negotiate contracts without losing their eligibility if they choose to return to school.

How would you rank each of baseball's divisions?

How did catchers fare playing other positions last year?

The Chiefs rally, but fall short in their playoff loss to the New England Patriots.

John Scott was voted into the NHL All-Star game, but was his demotion to the minors a conspiracy to keep him from appearing?

The University of Maryland hyped a chocolate milk study to help a corporate partner.

Mos Def was arrested in South Africa for using a "world passport", so what the heck is that?

How deep is the race problem with the Oscars?

Robot sperm could soon help men with infertility.

Your song of the day is Pearl Jam with "Hail, Hail."