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Royals Rumblings - News for February 14, 2017

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Will you be my Valentine?

Cleveland Indians v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Dayton Moore and the Royals were busy yesterday, signing reliever Seth Maness to a minor-league deal worth up to $2MM and lefty swingman Travis Wood to a two-year deal worth a reported $12MM. On Wood, Jeffrey Flanagan reported:

Wood has expressed a desire to start and likely will compete for the fifth spot in the rotation behind Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Vargas and Hammel.

Wood would compete with right-hander Nathan Karns, acquired in the offseason from Seattle for Jarrod Dyson, and Chris Young for the final rotation spot.

If Wood loses that battle, he would be a valuable piece to the bullpen, where he went 4-0 last season with the Cubs and had a 2.95 ERA in 77 appearances.

Clark Fosler waxes optimistic about Chris Young for 2017 at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City:

There exists the very real chance that at age thirty-seven, Chris Young might just be plain done. Still, I would offer that while Young was not really as good in 2015 as it appeared (he benefited from a career low .209 BABIP), he was probably not as bad as he appeared in 2016 (when his BABIP was a career high .318).

In an odd twist, Young’s average fastball velocity was the highest it had been in six seasons and his strikeout rate was a career-high 9.54 per nine innings. Yet, Young was bedeviled by the long ball, allowing almost three home runs per nine innings and seeing one in every five of his fly balls leave the yard. While Young’s strikeouts soared, his walk rate increased to its highest mark since his days long ago in San Diego.

Over the past four seasons, Young had gradually been using his fastball less and slider more (and all but ditched his changeup), but in 2016 Chris dramatically decreased his fastball usage, despite the increase in velocity, and threw the slider over half the time. By August and September of last year, Young was throwing his slider nearly 60% of the time.

On potential roster-crunch casualty Cheslor Cuthbert, Jeffrey Flanagan writes:

But with Moustakas back at third base in 2017, Cuthbert is searching for a position to solidify his spot on the 25-man roster. And further complicating matters is that Cuthbert, 24, is out of options -- he likely either makes the 25-man roster or is traded, because he certainly wouldn't clear waivers if designated for assignment.

Cuthbert isn't the ideal 24th or 25th man on the roster. He slots in best at third base or as a DH, where he could split time with left-handed hitting Brandon Moss.

The Royals have been working to increase Cuthbert's versatility, playing him at second base for a week in the instructional league last fall. And Cuthbert told MLB.com he played second base, third base and even shortstop in his homeland of Nicaragua during the offseason.

Jeffrey Flanagan confirms the Travis Wood signing and notes:

The BP Top 101 Prospects list was released. No Royals.

Scout’s Top 100 Prospects list was released. No Royals.

John Sickels’s Top 200 Prospects dropped at Minor League Ball. There were some Royals.

What would a Royals offseason be without some Jair Jurrjens chatter?

Craig Calcaterra really dislikes Field of Dreams.

FanGraphs tries to make sense of Noah Syndergaard’s weight gain with Eno Sarris contextualizing the 17 pounds of muscle added and Travis Sawchik wonders whether more velocity from Thor will put him even more at risk.

At the Hardball Times, John LaRue details the homogenization of ballparks.

Bill Snyder has throat cancer but will try to coach through it.

The emergency spillway at America’s tallest dam is failing leading to massive evacuations in California.

Nudity is returning to Playboy.

Get a first look at Avengers: Infinity War with this featurette.

The song of the day is “Take You Back” by Valentine.