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Royals Rumblings - News for February 16, 2017

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Oakland Athletics  v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Star’s Rustin Dodd reports that Dayton Moore thinks this is quite possibly the best Royals rotation he’s put together:

“I think this rotation is certainly every bit as good as any rotation that we’ve had,” Moore said. “Truthfully.”

The confidence comes at an important juncture for both the franchise and its starters. In 2016, the Royals’ staff scuffled as a unit, finishing 12th in the American League with a 4.67 ERA. One year later, club officials hope a re-tooled version can match the performance of the team’s rotations from 2013 (3.87 ERA in 968 2/3 innings) and 2014 (3.87 ERA in 986 2/3 innings).

A final piece of that rotation puzzle landed in camp Wednesday morning, when Travis Wood, a 30-year-old left-hander, officially signed a two-year, $12 million contract. Wood, who spent the last five seasons with the Chicago Cubs, will compete with right-hander Nathan Karns and right-hander Chris Young for the the club’s final rotation spot. He signed with the Royals, in part, because the team offered an opportunity to return to starting after he spent the last two years in the Cubs’ bullpen.

Baseball Prospectus Kansas City’s Hunter Samuels opines that Brandon Moss was necessary to combat Cleveland’s groundball pitchers:

The Royals struggled mightily against groundball pitchers, posting a .670 OPS in 966 plate appearances. The league average OPS against groundballers was .742, to give you some perspective. There were a few reasons the Royals stubbed their toes against the Indians last season, but the offensive woes sit at the top of the list.

Which brings us to Brandon Moss.

The Royals’ new designated hitter has made a name for himself in large part because of his production against groundball pitchers. In each of the last two seasons, his OPS has been roughly 20 percent higher against groundballers than his OPS against all pitchers.

The ink is dry on Travis Wood’s deal, and Jeffrey Flanagan reports:

Wood, a source told MLB.com, will make $4 million in 2017, $6.5 million in 2018 with an $8 million mutual option for 2019 (with a $1.5 million buyout). Wood also could max out with $1 million of performance bonuses each year of the deal.

The Royals' payroll now could exceed last year's franchise record of $145 million.

"Let me just say that the Glass family has always been very supportive of what we need to do," Moore said.

Brian Flynn talks about falling through the roof of his barn.

Clint Scoles takes a gander at potential Royals’ draftee, Alabama prep pitcher Jacob Heatherly at BP KC.

Old friends Jeremy Guthrie, Daniel Nava, Gregor Blanco, Kris Medlen, and Joba Chamberlain make BP’s NL non-roster invitees to watch list.

Max is making waves.

Is Brian Dozier’s power surge from last year sustainable?

Will Leitch thinks that Cleveland winning the Central is the easiest lock of the divisions.

Jeff Sullivan wonders how much hope should we have for Felix Hernandez?

Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s CEO Andrew Puzder is withdrawing his name from the nomination for Labor Secretary.

This pet squirrel attacks burglars.

George Saunders sits down with Vulture to talk about his first novel Lincoln in the Bardo.

While we’re at it...

We’re all going to have to become cyborgs to stay relevant, or so says Elon Musk. This has to mean he’s a Wade Davis fan, right?

There is now a trailer for Demetri Martin’s directorial debut Dean.

The song of the day is “Do You Still Love Me?” by Ryan Adams.