Royals Rumblings - News for February 15, 2016
There was an assumption within the Royals’ organization that Alex Gordon would get offers too great from other teams to re-sign with Kansas City, but as it turned out, Gordon was devoted to the idea of returning – and he made his contract fit within that two-year construct. Gordon’s deal is for $72 million over four years, but is heavily backloaded: He’ll make $12 million this year and $16 million next year, and then in the final two years of the contract – when Hosmer, Cain and Moustakas may or may not be gone and the Royals’ payroll will change dramatically – Gordon will make $20 million in 2018 and $20 million in 2019, with a $4 million buyout of an option for 2020.
Sam Mellinger writes about what could go right and wrong for the Kansas City Royals.
If this is the year Yordano Ventura is as good as the Royals scouts think he will be, it will change so much about their season. Did you realize the Royals ranked 12th in the American League in starters’ ERA? And last in innings? Jeremy Guthrie was terrible, and Johnny Cueto was an unreliable flake except for the two playoff starts they needed him to be good, but from wire to wire nobody underperformed his ability more than Ventura. There were flashes of greatness, particularly when he pitched off his curveball instead of his fastball. He turns 26 in June, and is not coming off an unnaturally heavy workload. He is the most obvious and in some ways likely way for the Royals to get more out of their rotation.
Jeffrey Flanagan has a mailbag and addresses the health of Tim Collins.
The Royals' timetable for pitchers coming off Tommy John surgery is about 14 months before they are back in the big leagues. That would put Tim Collins on pace for around May (just as Luke Hochevar did last year). Jason Vargas had his procedure at the very end of July, which effectively wipes out his 2016 season. Vargas could be back pitching in the Minors in August and September, and he could theoretically pitch for the Royals again if they made the postseason. But at that point, I'm not sure how much he would bring to the table.
Rustin Dodd asks if the offense can replicate their performance.
In some ways, the Royals’ offensive formula is one of depth. Designated hitter Kendrys Morales was a reliable run-producer in the middle of the lineup, and the return of left fielder Alex Gordon offers another above-average bat to the offensive attack. The Royals also have room for growth, with catcher Salvador Perez and shortstop Alcides Escobar coming off down offensive seasons. But if the Royals want to duplicate their run production in 2016, they will likely need their young core to offer similar performance.
Raul Mondesi (#29) and Kyle Zimmer (#85) make Baseball America's Top 100 prospect list.
Dayton Moore addresses a business group and says relentlessness is the key to success.
Nick Bromberg at Yahoo Sports looks back at Alex Gordon's game-tying World Series home run.
Ned Yost says romance is "overrated."
Perhaps because he was ranked the eighth-best manager in the game.
The Royals sign a 28-year old catcher out of Australia.
Ken Rosenthal says that teams are talking trade later in the off-season than usual.
At Hardball Times, Jeff Zimmerman looks at what kind of ballplayer gets signed out of the independent leagues.
Pitchers will debut new protective helmets during spring training.
Brian Bannister talks about his new job, trying to improve Boston Red Sox pitchers.
Montreal suggests splitting the Rays with Tampa Bay.
Another spring professional football league - Major League Football - tries to get off the ground.
Twitter is not attracting new users, and Wall Street is not happy about it.
What is the psychological effect of all these digital photos we're taking?
Your song of the day is Joan Jett for "I Hate Myself for Loving You."