At BP Kansas City, Clint Scoles hypothesizes how possible changes to the draft and international amateur signings could affect the Royals:
One small possibility of that could change where the Royals and other teams pick is the possibility of the first round lottery similar to what the NBA currently employs. The quick rise of the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros after tanking seasons has brought this rumor along, and it is one that has a possibility of players signing off on as they have no real reason to vote against it in comparison to other possible issues in the CBA.
On the other hand, one issue that could flex its muscle if agents get into players’ ears is the likelihood of trading picks throughout the draft. The latest CBA has forced agents and players into pre-draft negotiations and limited the strength from which agent/players can negotiate. The ability for teams to get value from trading picks could once again give power back to the drafted and his agent as they could force teams to bring more dollars to their package or move out of the draft slot. For a small market team like the Royals this could put them in a difficult position as teams in larger markets like New York, Boston, Chicago and LA could force players like Buster Posey and Rick Porcello to their slots in similar fashion to the old CBA.
Former RR overlord Craig Brown looks at the undesirable payroll situation Dayton Moore and the Royals find themselves in heading into 2017.
John Viril thinks the Royals’ willingness to give Cheslor Cuthbert reps at second signifies that they don’t believe in Whit Merrifield.
However, how is a player that’s below league average at third going to succeed at a more difficult defensive position? I suppose Cuthbert won’t have to contend with long throws at second. But, he also has had problems coming in on the ball and with consistency.
In the end, Dayton Moore could simply be exploring all the possibilities for a young player. But, it seems to me that the Royals wonder if Merrifield’s bat has been a mirage in 2016. His .283 batting average and .328 OBP were inflated by a high .361 Batting Average Balls In Play (BABIP). The speedy Merrifield can expect to post a consistently high BABIP. But, only a few players can expect to maintain a .361 BABIP.
(Check the comments for some gold from a banned old friend.)
Baseball Prospectus’s Russell Carleton tries to suss out just how valuable Theo “Big Money” Epstein is.
At FanGraphs, Dave Cameron details the craziest, most inexcusable aspect of Buck Showalter not using Zach Britton.
Also at FG, August Fagerstrom (with the help of Jeff Zimmerman and Eno Sarris) looks at just how high the pitch Kevin Pillar put in play to tie the AL Wild Card was. tl;dr? It was crazy high.
Want to read an epic takedown of Tom Wolfe’s new book in which he attempts to tear down Charles Darwin and Noam Chomsky?
Maybe we’ll finally stop getting those IRS scam phone calls now.
Ben Affleck’s adaptation of the Dennis Lehane Prohibition-Era novel Live by Night has an awards season release date and trailer.
The song of the day is “Downtown” by Majical Cloudz.