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Royals Rumblings - News for December 5, 2017

Could Whit be dealt?

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MLB: Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for December 5, 2017

Ken Rosenthal says the Royals are keeping all options on the table.

Two things would need to happen for Hosmer to return to Kansas City. First, his market would need to be less than what he expected—unlikely, considering he is only 28. Second, he would need to accept playing for a rebuilding club, which also might be unlikely. The Royals, sources say, expect to step back for perhaps three seasons while they restock their farm system, then contend again starting in 2020 behind a new local TV deal.

Until then, they figure to suffer.

In addition to entertaining trades for right-handed starter Jason Hammel and relievers Kelvin Herrera and Joakim Soria, the Royals might consider moving two players under long-term control, second baseman Whit Merrifield and left-handed reliever Scott Alexander, sources say.

Dan Szymborski at ESPN (INSIDER) looks at the teams in different levels of payroll hell.

ZiPS currently projects the Royals to have the weakest roster in baseball in 2018, beginning the offseason at 69 wins. What's even worse about that is they start the offseason with more than $120 million practically guaranteed, with nine players combining for $101 million of that number. Those players combined for only 5.9 bWAR in 2017.

I don't think the Royals are contenders in 2018, not even if they had a $200 million payroll -- and they won't. The only bit of good news for the franchise is that there seem to be signs from the front office that they're realistic about the challenges they face. And as I learned as a kid watching cartoons, knowing is an impossibly precise half of the battle.

Colby Wilson at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City looks at cheaper replacements to the departing free agents.

In a similar vein to Cozart, someone out there is going to believe that Jason Vargas’ first half of 2017 is worth $16 million a year and I’m going to laugh until I cough up a lung. You want somebody who can work the zone (better than Vargas 7.7 walk rate) and get the occasional strikeout (better than Vargas 17.7 percent rate)? You have two choices: Wait out Michael Pineda or bring in Ricky Nolasco.

Pineda is the better of the two overall (and the one more worth taking a flier on from a talent standpoint), and Nolasco did have the benefit of one of baseball’s best defenses (.711 defensive efficiency tied them with Texas for eighth in baseball last season). That said, for some tie would go to the guy who can stay moderately healthy. I’m not here to judge you for that.

Royals Farm Report continues their prospect countdown with #16-20.

If Chase Vallot can stick as a catcher, he has one of the brighter futures of any prospect in the Royals system. Admittedly, looking at the rankings right now, you could make a really strong argument that deserves to be higher on this list. The problem is, and the concern that I think is fair to have with Vallot, is whether or not he can stick behind the plate. Not many catchers can hit like Vallot can, but the problem is that Vallot may be better suited as a 1B/DH in the big leagues, and there are lots of 1B/DH that can hit like him, thus decreasing his value significantly.

Nicholas Sullivan at Kings of Kauffman argues that signing Eric Hosmer is illogical for a rebuilding team.

George Brett and David Glass are on the Hall of Fame Committee that will decide on potential new inductees this week.

The five best non-tendered free agent targets.

Meet Miles Mikolas, the other pitcher coming over from Japan.

Should Giancarlo Stanton end up in San Francisco or St. Louis?

Grant Brisbee wonders how the Marlins got even weirder.

Did the Braves take a hit for a league-wide problem in international signings?

Seattle approves arena renovations and could be getting an NHL team shortly.

Herm Edwards had a heckuva press conference when introduced as coach at Arizona State.

Christiane Amanpour will have a show to replace Charlie Rose on PBS.

McDonald’s will revamp its Dollar Menu next year.

Quentin Tarantino might be making a Star Trek movie.

Your song of the day is Roy Orbison with California Blue.