Jeffrey Flanagan delves in a bit on Dayton Moore’s cryptic offseason plans, including rebuilding the lock-down bullpen:
How could Moore achieve that by trading Davis, his bullpen ace?
"It's a good question. A very good question," Moore said from the General Managers Meetings. "You're going to hear a lot [of rumors] this offseason. It's natural for interested clubs or contending clubs to naturally look at our team and say 'Hey, certain players are going to be free agents in a year. I wonder if the Royals would be interested in making a deal?'
"That's going to be commonplace. We'll continue to listen. That's what we'll do. We're not in a hurry to break this team up. But every day there is a strong urgency to get better."
At BP Kansas City, Clark Fosler takes a look back at the opportunities missed by the Royals in 2016.
The Royals are facing Detroit’s Jordan Zimmerman in Kansas City and it is no sin to lose to Zimmerman. Yet on this day, Kansas City put two runners on base in the second and scored none. They had two on with no out in the fifth only to see Alex Gordon thrown out in a rundown and no runners cross the plate. Two more were on the sixth, two runners reached with one out in the seventh and the Royals started the eighth inning with a lead-off single. No runs, NOT ONE. Trailing 2-0, Chien-Ming Wang pitches the top of the ninth and allows another run.
Let’s pause for a moment and note that the previous day, Yordano Ventura was staked to an early 5-0 lead, but still took 98 pitches to get through just five innings. Hochevar pitched the sixth and then Danny Duffy allowed three runs in the seventh and Joakim Soria started the eighth and allowed another run, forcing Ned Yost to use both Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis to close out an 8-6 victory. Now, if it had not taken five relievers to get through a game in which the Royals scored eight runs, does Wang pitch the ninth? Does he pitch the ninth if the Royals somehow plate even one run with the many chances the game had already provided?
In an AL Central offseason preview, Jayson Stark wonders whether the Royals can upgrade their offense.
Rustin Dodd reports that the Royals are reportedly totally fine with Jarrod Dyson and Paulo Orlando in right.
The gambit would offer mixed results in 2016 — Dyson and Orlando delivered stellar defense and serviceable production while Gordon struggled mightily under the weight of a new contract. But for the moment, Royals general manager Dayton Moore appears poised to maintain the status quo in his outfield, utilizing an alignment that would feature Dyson and Orlando drawing most of the starts in the third outfield spot.
“I feel real comfortable (with that),” Moore said Wednesday, during a brief interview session at the annual GM meetings. “Just because they fit our ballpark. And I think we know what to expect. They’re extremely quality defenders.”
The rest of the outfield will likely play to script, barring some unforeseen offseason deal. Gordon is slated to return in left field, while Lorenzo Cain will enter his final season before free agency. As they sort through roster possibilities, the Royals are banking on a bounce-back season from Gordon and hoping that Cain’s legs remain healthy enough for him to patrol center field.
Willie Mays Aikens voted for the first time in his life.
Rustin Dodd reports that Greg Holland would be fine signing with a team who already has an established closer.
Rob Manfred does not expect the Trump presidency to affect MLB’s increasing forays into Latin America.
FanGraphs’ Craig Edwards tries to envision how the seemingly inevitable Cubs dynasty could collapse.
Jon Jones was stripped of the UFC interim light-heavyweight belt following the shooting down of his appeal on a positive doping test. He’s out until July 7, 2017.
It looks like Deadpool 3 is already in the works and will feature X-Force.
Irvine Welsh hints that there may be a Trainspotting series to follow the upcoming sequel.
The song of the day is “Magneto” by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: