The annual SB Nation Off-season Simulation is underway. Once again, yours truly is running the Royals in the sim.
The Royals are at a crossroads, with this next year either being the likely last season of presumed contention or another year hovering around .500 while commodities with present trade value play out the string on their final year in Kansas City before hitting free agency. As always happens in this sim, the Shadow Royals are operating under a budget that is likely lower than the one Dayton Moore will be using, as his modus operandi is to low-ball the budget for the next season to make the Glass family look more beneficent when they "splurge" and overshoot that figure by somewhere in the $10 - $15MM range. So I'm beholden to a payroll in the neighborhood of $131MM.
What follows are the roster moves. Explanations will follow the completion of the sim.
The Royals exercised their $10MM club option on Wade Davis.
The Royals declined their club option on Alcides Escobar, buying out the final year at the price tag of $500K
The Royals exercised their half of the mutual options on Kendrys Morales and Edinson Volquez, who opted out on their end. Those respective buyouts were for $1.5MM and $3MM.
The Royals declined the mutual options on Luke Hochevar and Kris Medlen, buying them out for $500K and $1MM respectively.
The Royals extended arbitration offers to Eric Hosmer ($13.3MM), Danny Duffy ($8.2MM), Kelvin Herrera ($5.2MM), and Jarrod Dyson ($2.5MM).
The Royals did not offer arbitration to Dillon Gee, Tim Collins, Daniel Nava, or Tony Cruz.
The Royals agreed to a trade with the Marlins, acquiring shortstop Adeiny Hechevarria and speedy outfield prospect 19-year-old Isaiah White for prospects Bubba Starling, Orlando Calixte, and Jake Junis. Hechevarria is due to make $3.7MM in arbitration with one more year of arbitration remaining after this one.
The Royals agreed to a deal sending the much sought after Jarrod Dyson to the Baltimore Orioles for third base prospect Jomar Reyes and minor league reliever Richard Rodriguez. Reyes was the youngest player in high-A during his age-19 season.
Free Agent Signing #1
The Royals signed Drew Butera to a one-year, $1.2MM deal, ensuring that the team still has great hair.
Free Agent Signing #2
The Royals signed Louis Coleman to a one-year, $750K deal.
Free Agent Signing #3
The Royals signed Vance Worley to a minor-league deal that becomes $750K if added to the 25-man roster, with $250K bonuses if he makes 10, 20, and 30 starts for Kansas City with a player opt-out on June 1 if not added to the big league roster by that point.
Free Agent Signing #4
The Royals and Mat Latos agreed to a one-year, $2MM deal.
The Royals and the Marlins agreed to another deal. This one sends Paulo Orlando to Miami for pitching prospect Luis Castillo.
The Royals and Pirates agreed to a huge deal sending Yordano Ventura, Wade Davis, and Kelvin Herrera to Pittsburgh. Kansas City receives second baseman / outfielder Adam Frazier and prospects Kevin Newman, Cole Tucker, Nick Kingham, Alen Hanson, Steven Brault, and Willy Garcia. MLB.com has them ranked as Pittsburgh's #4, #7, #10, #13, #14, and #15 prospects. Newman was a first-round pick in 2015. Tucker was a first-round pick in 2014. Hanson and Brault both made their major-league debuts in 2016, if ever so briefly.
The Royals and Dodgers agreed to a deal sending Scott Alexander to Los Angeles for Trayce Thompson.
Free Agent Signing #5
The Royals agreed to terms with left-handed swingman Jesse Chavez on a one-year, $4MM deal.
Free Agent Signing #6
The Royals inked Luke Hochevar to a one-year, $3MM deal with an $8MM club option for 2018 with a $2.5MM buyout.
The Royals and Red Sox have agreed to a deal sending Lorenzo Cain to Boston in exchange for rights to Allen Craig - who is owed $11MM this year and $1MM next year but is not on the 40-man roster - left-handed pitcher Henry Owens, hotshot third base prospect Rafael Devers, and third base/short prospect Deven Marrero.
The Royals and Nationals agreed to a trade sending pitching prospect Eric Skoglund to Washington in exchange for Danny Espinosa.
Free Agent Signing #7
The Royals signed Peter Moylan to a one-year, $1MM deal.
The Royals and Rays agreed to a deal sending first baseman Eric Hosmer, outfielder Trayce Thompson, and prospects Ashe Russell, Foster Griffin, and Cam Gallagher to Tampa along with $2MM in cash in exchange for southpaw Drew Smyly (who is making $6.9MM in his penultimate year of arbitration), outfielder Steven Souza Jr. (four years of club control remaining in his last pre-arbitration year), pitching prospect Ryne Stanek, and catching prospect Justin O'Conner.
Free Agent Signing #8 and #9
The Royals signed pitchers Alfredo Simon and Blaine Boyer to minor-league deals with invites to Spring Training.
Free Agent Signing #10
The Royals agreed to terms on a two-year deal with Mike Napoli that pays him $8MM in 2017 and $10MM in 2018. This fills the Eric Hosmer-sized hole at first base for the next two years.
The sim is over. I'll write a post-mortem when I'm sure the world hasn't ended.