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Royals Rumblings - News for January 4, 2016

A Kansas City sports team in the playoffs at Houston? I like it.

Eric Christian Smith/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for January 4, 2016

In his Friday notes, David Lesky at Pine Tar Press picks over the free agent starting pitching market.

With that in mind, the remaining candidates to fill that rotation spot are essentially Wei-Yin Chen, Yovani Gallardo, Ian Kennedy and Doug Fister. I guess there are other options like Mat Latos, Cliff Lee, Tim Lincecum and maybe Alfredo Simon, but I think the Royals would like more certainty with that spot. For my money, I’d hope the Royals look at Fister or Chen. There are questions with Fister’s health, of course, but I think he could be a great fit with the Royals defense and with Dave Eiland. And with Chen, you have to give up a draft pick, but he’s a quality lefty and could be a nice piece for the middle of the rotation for years. You all know I’d steer clear of Gallardo due to declining strikeout rates and velocity and that I just don’t think Ian Kennedy is worth losing a draft pick over.

Jerry Crasnick at ESPN writes that Eric Hosmer is one of the most interesting people in baseball to watch in 2016.

Alex Gordon, the longest-tenured member of the Kansas City Royals' championship team, appears to be on his way out the door through free agency. Someone needs to step forward if the Royals plan to make a third straight World Series appearance, and Hosmer has both the talent and leadership skills to be the guy. He logged a career-high .822 OPS in 158 games last season, then padded his franchise postseason record RBI total to 29 in October. Hosmer is eligible for free agency after the 2017 season, so the clock is ticking on his tenure at Kauffman Stadium.

Anthony Castrovince at Sports on Earth says to keep an eye on all the Royals.

This team is vying to become the first in more than a decade to reach three straight World Series, a feat last accomplished by the 1998-2001 Yankees. In fact, a non-Yankee team has done it just three times since World War II -- the 1969-71 Orioles, the 1972-74 A's and the 1988-90 A's (no NL team has done it in the last 70 years). At a time when we talk so much about the game's competitive parity, the once-woebegone Royals have the ability to establish themselves as something of an AL dynasty. Ned Yost, for crying out loud, has the chance to go down as one of the great modern managers. The Royals have their challenges -- namely, piecing together an effective rotation and avoiding the volatility that plagues so many bullpens -- but it's clear their formula as a defensively sound squad built perfectly for its home park works.

If it works again in '16, we're talking about one of the more special squads in history.

Jon Heyman has his latest notes on the Royals.

While Royals people have been told they have "no chance" to re-sign Alex Gordon as things stood following their initial offer, it doesn't appear they are giving up -- though it is seen as a long shot currently ... The Royals are feeling sticker shock seeing some of the free-agent prices. They seem to like Chen best among the pitchers out there, but Ian Kennedy may fit the budget better ... They have considered Span and Austin Jackson, as they favor great defense in the outfield ... Most folks believe a two-year deal will eventually be worked out to bring back Greg Holland, the star closer before Wade Davis became their star closer. Holland is expected to miss the 2016 season after late-season Tommy John surgery.

Jon Heyman has left CBS Sports.

The Jackson County Executive job could soon fall in the lap of Royals legend Frank White.

The Dodgers sign Japanese free agent Kenta Maeda.

Are the Padresperfect fit for free agent Ian Desmond?

Lookout Landing evaluates its newest Mariners by their social media accounts.

The luxury tax seems to be making baseball a more competitive sport.

Are Hall of Fame voters starting to change their tune on Barry Bonds?

Long-time sports writer Murray Chass takes issues with Dan Szymborski.

College football is dead.

The Chiefs are headed to the playoffs in Houston, where Kansas City sports teams have had some good karma lately.

Johnny Football is done in Cleveland.

Kansas and Oklahoma will play each other in what will likely be a #1 vs. #2 matchup tonight.

Who controls your Facebook feed?

What to expect at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.

The best TV episodes of 2015.

Your song of the day is Bob Dylan with "If You Ever Go to Houston."