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Royals Rumblings - News for February 10, 2016

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Happy Alex Gordon Day!

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for February 10, 2016

Cliff Corcoron at Sports Illustrated grades the Royals for their offseason.

I don’t like the Kennedy deal, but I follow the Royals’ thinking on it, and they did need to sign someone to fill out their rotation. At the very least, Kennedy has a clean injury history, and that deal will look a lot better if he elects to opt out after the 2017 season, turning a five-year, $70 million deal into a two-year, $27 million contract. Adding Kennedy and re-signing Young gives Kansas City the depth it needed in the rotation and allows the overspill (most likely Duffy) to help out in the bullpen, where replacing Madson with Soria looks like an upgrade to my eyes. What this grade ultimately comes down to, however, is Gordon. The Royals' entire off-season hinged on being able to retain Gordon, and they not only kept him, but also did so at a bargain price.

In his "Mellinger Minutes", Sam Mellinger mentions how awful "official" Royals gear can be.

I have no idea if statistics would back me up here, but I have this theory that "official" merchandise is facing a real threat by a conspiracy of independent retailers’ creativity and the 2016 desire a lot of us have to find our own way. What I mean by that is that official merchandise is often clunky, and either gaudy or boring, and particularly with younger fans, always comes with this fundamental problem of being mass produced.

It’s a bit like the popularity of personalized jerseys. People want to show their support for their team, but they also want to maintain some individualism. I don’t know if that makes any sense, I hope it does. This may or may not be a problem in other markets, I don’t know, but Royals gear faces a significant competition from independent and local shops. I mean, it’s everywhere, and these things are by definition objective, but most of the non-official stuff is just cooler than the official stuff.

Royals minor league pitcher Matthew Strahm prepares for his first Major League camp.

Kansas City Royals Director of Scouting Lonnie Goldberg said Strahm's position within the organization has elevated. The Royals made a handful of trades last season and gave up quality left-handed pitching prospects to get utility player Ben Zobrist and starting pitcher Johnny Cueto to contribute to the team's World Series championship run.

"We were fortunate in that going into last season a strength in our system was our left-handed pitching and Matt was certainly a part of that," Goldberg said. "When we start talking about who is left-handed and is ready to pitch down in the minor leagues for us, his name is going to have to come up. That is why spring training is going to be extremely important for him coming in, getting acclimated and making an impression."

Today is "Alex Gordon Day" in Nebraska, by decree of the Governor. Today is Alex's 32nd birthday!

The White Sox sign Mat Latos to a one-year deal.

Could the Red Sox go from worst to first?

The rules about sliding into second base are likely to change, writes Buster Olney.

Russell Carleton at Baseball Prospectus looks at flawed assumptions in moving across the defensive spectrum.

Craig Edwards at Fangraphs looks at the uncertain future for baseball in a cord-cutting era.

Simpsons screencaps for all 30 teams (slideshow)

The worst NBA All-Stars of the last 25 years.

Leicester could be the most unlikely sports champion ever.

Bitcoin is on the verge of splitting in two.

Who was the worst Supreme Court Justice ever?

Samantha Bee gets good reviews for her new show "Full Frontal."

Your song of the day is Stevie Wonder with "Happy Birthday."