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Weekend Rumblings - News for January 20, 2018

Everybody already worked for the weekend.

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

At Bleeding Royal Blue, Sean Thornton tries to figure out where the Royals’ free agents might land:

Alcides Escobar

If the Moustakas market feels cold, then Escobar’s is Antarctica. To say the rumors of interested teams for Esky is limited would be an understatement. There’s the Padres, who showed interest in him before acquiring Freddy Galvis to play shortstop, and then there are…ummm…there is also the…uhhh…no one. Nope, I haven’t seen any other team linked to Escobar this winter, outside of a few writers suggesting locations that might need him. The honest truth is that Escobar has been a weak hitter these last few years who has gotten by on his defense…which has begun to regress. So it shouldn’t be a shock to say that the market for a light hitting shortstop, entering a period where his defense and speed will start to wane as well, is sparse. There aren’t many options for Alcides, so at this point he might have to just take what he can get, even if it is a role as a backup mentor on a rebuilding team.

Likely Destination: Kansas City Royals’s Mark Feinsand breaks down why the market for Moustakas has been slow to materialize:

Wait ‘til next year … or the year after that

For teams looking to add a big-money third baseman, next year’s free-agent market looks to be quite appealing. Both Machado and Donaldson are set to become free agents next offseason, while Nolan Arenado and Anthony Rendon are slated to hit the open market after the 2019 season.

Locking up the third-base spot with a player such as Moustakas might not make sense for a club that is looking ahead at future free-agent classes, which could mean shorter-term offers for him.

One executive suggested that a team could get creative with an offer, giving Moustakas a deal similar to the one the Mets gave Jay Bruce ($39 million over three years) with an opt-out clause after either the first or second year. That would give Moustakas an opportunity to hit the market again at age 30 or 31, though he would then be competing for contracts with the four previously mentioned stars.

BP KC’s Craig Brown profiles Paulo Orlando.

David Lesky has his Friday notes:

If I had to guess, I’d say that Kelvin Herrera is the next Royals reliever to be traded. After agreeing to a 2018 salary of a touch under $8 million, there’s certainty in his cost, even if it wasn’t that big of a deal before the agreement. If you’re looking for a potential trade partner, it’s basically any team in baseball that is trying to contend in 2018. If the Royals are willing to trade in the division, I could see a deal being struck with the Twins as they continue to work to rebuild their bullpen. Adding Herrera to Fernando Rodney and Addison Reed would give them a pretty solid back of the bullpen, though it isn’t without risk. One name that intrigues me is Akil Baddoo and not just because the name actually intrigues me. He’s a long way away, but he hit .323/.436/.527 in rookie ball as an 18-year old and has a chance to carry those OBP skills through to the big leagues. Some other options for Herrera include the Astros, Cubs, Brewers, Cardinals and Dodgers. If you’re worried about trading another closer to the Cubs, at least they can’t acquire Jorge Soler for this one. Well, I guess they could, but that would be weird.

At least the Royals don’t definitely have the worst farm system in baseball.

Travis Sawchik looks at the end of an era of sorts in Pittsburgh and how they got to this point.

Carson Cistulli argues that Randal Grichuk is an above-average outfielder for the Blue Jays.

What do you think of your team’s ownership?

Be ready for the coming deer zombie apocalypse.

A serial killer in Arizona is suspected of killing nine people.

Why did BYU have a secret soda machine?

Your song of the day is “A Night in Tunisia” by Dizzy Gillespie: