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Royals Rumblings - News for February 22, 2017

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MLB: Kansas City Royals-Media Day Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for February 22, 2017

Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs tries to rationalize a mega-deal for Eric Hosmer.

Eric Hosmer, right now, is not a 10-year-contract kind of player. WAR is our best measure of value, and it’s no fan of Hosmer’s. Teams know that, and their own systems would mostly agree. At the same time, you can see how Hosmer could be close to being one of those cornerstones. He could definitely be a better defender than he’s given statistical credit for. It’s hard to ignore the offensive timing he’s had. And the offensive upside is also a selling point, even if Hosmer has been hitting ground balls for six years. There’s more power in there, and some hitters have managed to set theirs free. It could be a matter of making one tweak.

No team in baseball would give Hosmer a mega-contract today, even if they believe him to be a little underrated. What Boras might be taking for granted, publicly, is that Hosmer can consistently be his best self. Deep down, Boras knows there’s work to be done, but there is a legitimate chance here. Eric Hosmer’s best self is a star first baseman. Several months from now, that mega-contract idea might not seem so far-fetched.

Ned Yost hopes more power from his lineup means they will rely less on speed.

“We’re still going to be very athletic in the field for the most part,” Yost said. “But I think we’re going to have the ability to score more runs through slugging percentage. We might not need that guy as much as we did before. But again, you see the makeup of your team, and at the end of the spring, if it’s an area that pops up as a need, we’ll make an adjustment.”

Sam Mellinger thinks Christian Colón emerges as the starter at second base for the Royals.

I also want to pump the brakes on Cuthbert a bit, particularly if we’re talking about him playing second base. I haven’t heard one baseball person say they believe he can play the position at a big-league level. The Royals still value defense, and Cuthbert was erratic at third, where he’s most comfortable.

He had some nice moments at the plate last season, but finished at .274/.318/.409, for an adjusted OPS of 7 percent lower than the league average. He’s just 24 years old, with promising poise, and likely has a bright future. But rearranging the lineup, and becoming worse defensively based on a few nice moments and hope is what the Royals used to do.

Ian Kennedy has settled his family down in the Kansas City area, so will he exercise his opt-out?

“You know, I don’t know,” Kennedy said. “Allison and I approach everything like, ‘If God decides to move us and we decide we’re going somewhere else next year, we’ll see.’

“We’ll approach it just like we did. We thought we were going to stay in Arizona, because we’d loved living there. But we do kind of adjust. And we do like to plant roots in the city that we live in and enjoy where we are in that moment.”

Jeffrey Flanagan looks at young Josh Staumount as a bullpen candidate.

"Personally, I think my MO is going as hard as I can and getting as many outs as I can as quickly as I can," Staumont said. "I did some longer relieving in rookie ball. I haven't had the get up and go relieving like this, but it's not something I'm scared of."

David Schoenfield at ESPN looks at positions that have plagued franchises over years.

10. Kansas City Royals SS: minus-13.0 WAA

Starters: Tony Pena (2 seasons), Yuniesky Betancourt (2), Alcides Escobar (6)

This one stands out because it has been relatively stable. Pena and Betancourt were awful, but the surprise is the low rating with Escobar. But his career OBP with the Royals is .297, with just 26 home runs over six seasons, so he’s pretty much an offensive zero, and the defensive metrics rate him as only average.

Lee Judge has doubts about route efficiency.

George Brett is intrigued by the 2017 Royals.

Leigh Oleszczak at KC Kingdom wonders if Bubba Starling will ever reach the big leagues.

Salvy and Drew Butera mess around on photo day.

Matt Wieters heads to Washington.

Angered by the union, the Commissioner may unilaterally impose new rules in 2018.

Facebook may stream one MLB game per week this year.

Five breakout candidates for the upcoming season.

The top international prospects for 2017.

How baseball players are using stem cells to avoid Tommy John surgery.

Eno Sarris at Fangraphs gives ten predictions on the season.

Sammy Sosa compares himself to Jesus Christ and denies PED use.

Rick Ankiel admits he drank vodka before games to ease his anxiety.

Magic Johnson takes over the Lakers.

Here are 25 college football games to be excited about in 2017.

Not even is safe from trolls.

UPS has a delivery truck that can launch a drone.

Burger King buys Popeye’s Chicken in a $1.8 billion merger.

Your song of the day is Spoon with I Turn My Camera On.