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Royals Rumblings - News for January 6, 2017

The starting rotation is fine.

Kansas City Royals v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for January 6, 2017

Jeffrey Flanagan answers questions from fans, including how the starting rotation is shaping up.

Well, the first four are easy: Danny Duffy, Yordano Ventura, Ian Kennedy and Jason Vargas. The fifth starter will be determined at Spring Training among Mike Minor, Chris Young, Strahm or maybe even a Jonathan Sanchez. Some fans have forgotten Young's contributions to the World Series title and easily dismiss him because of his dreadful 2016. The Royals have not forgotten him. The Royals believe that, with a full offseason, Young will bounce back and perhaps grab that No. 5 spot.

Buster Olney ranks Eric Hosmer the sixth-best first baseman in baseball.

The Royals first baseman probably has more to gain from a strong 2017 than any other position player given his impending free agency. And if Kansas City struggles in the first half, it's possible (but unlikely) that he could finish next season in another uniform. Hosmer will hit the open market at 28 years old, and he will be paid very well for his offense, defense (he has won three Gold Gloves) and ability to run the bases.

He had a really rough second half of 2016, with an OPS of .676, and at season's end, Royals manager Ned Yost said that Hosmer had been dealing with a wrist issue. He had a career-high 25 homers and 104 RBIs last year but hit a lot more ground balls, with his rate rocketing to 59 percent, the most ever for the left-handed hitter.

Jon Heyman says the book is still out on the Royals’ off-season.

Hard to question their baseball acumen after so many trades have worked to their advantage. But you have to wonder about Soler since the also smart Cubs group seemed to lose faith. Late pickup Peter O’Brien from the D-Backs could turn out to be a diamondback in the rough (sorry for the bad pun).

David Schoenfield of ESPN tries to guess who will be the next Hall of Famer from each team.

Kansas City Royals: Yordano Ventura (2054). Ventura never lives up to his potential as a starter, but he moves to the bullpen in 2020 and has new life as a dominant closer, with seven 40-save seasons and several more of 30-plus. He ends up part of the great closer election of 2054, when the veterans committee, fed up with what to do with relievers, votes in Ventura, Billy Wagner, Kenley Jansen, Francisco Rodriguez, Zach Britton, Aroldis Chapman, Craig Kimbrel, Lee Smith, Jonathan Papelbon, Joe Nathan and Roberto Osuna in a special election, which only leads to the infamous “What about John Franco?” debate that tears apart the Hall of Fame and leads to its eventual destruction.

Rustin Dodd at Sam Mellinger talk about the dormant Royals off-season on the Star podcast.

The entire TV and radio Royals broadcast team will return for in 2017.

A look at the MLB free agent bargain bin.

Alex Rodriguez won’t be making a comeback in 2017.

Who are the most versatile utility players in baseball?

Was it a mistake for the Yankees to let Robinson Cano go?

Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis is cancer-free after surgery.

The ordinary Zaza Pachulia is fifth in NBA All-Star voting, just ahead of Omar Infante.

Chris Berman will be stepping back, back, back, back from his ESPN duties.

An unearthed data set shows that California sterilized 20,000 people early in the 20th century.

Conan O’Brien will be shifting to a weekly format.

Medium lays off a third of its staff and calls digital media “broken.”

Your song of the day is Passion Pit with Little Secrets.