Jeffrey Flanagan writes of the trio of Royals awaiting their fates as the non-tender deadline approaches:
Kansas City very well could tender contracts to all three with the knowledge that even if all three get significant arbitration raises, it will not break the bank. The Royals are hoping to keep their payroll in the $90 million range as they continue their rebuilding phase.
Hahn, acquired prior to the 2018 season from Oakland in the Brandon Moss trade, missed the entire season with elbow issues. Hahn underwent UCL repair surgery in late August and isn’t expected to pitch again until early summer. He is in his first year of arbitration and made $574,000 last season.
David Lesky compares Whit Merrifield to Lorenzo Cain to try to
wishforecast his aging curve:
I’m not here to say that Whit Merrifield will age just like Lorenzo Cain, but it’s worth noting that in the following three seasons from his age-29 season, Cain hit .299/.368/.424 with his typically stellar defense. Upon his move to the Brewers, his walk numbers kicked up with a rate above 11 percent and his strikeout rate continued to impress. Athleticism tends to age pretty well, and Merrifield is a lot closer to the caliber athlete of Cain than many probably realize.
And while Cain has higher value, as you can see from his 11.1 WARP from his age-27 though age-29 season (and that’s 4.3 WARP/600 PA for him in that time) compared to Whit’s 7.9 WARP (2.8/600 PA), I think at least some of that gap can be bridged with Merrifield’s versatility. While Cain is an outstanding defender in center field, and maybe even better than that, Merrifield can handle second base and all three outfield positions well. I think we might even find out in the next few months how well he can handle third base as that seems to be an option for his near future.
At RFR, Marcus Meade lays out what he thinks the problem with trading Whit Merrifield is.
Former Royal Jesse Chavez isn’t done and became dominant in Joe Maddon’s pen last year built on the back of a killer cutter.
David Laurila talks with Seth Lugo about how he honed his curveball.
The Miami Herald unfurls the first part of its scathing investigation of the well-connected slimeball Jeffrey Epstein.
Shudder subscribers can enjoy endless streaming of Mandy, which dropped on the horror streaming service today.
Magnus Carlsen defended his world chess championship title, finally defeating American Fabaino Caruana after a 20-day face-off.
But what about the deleted scenes on the Mandy DVD?
IFC’s in Dutch with the FCC after airing an unrated version of Lars Von Trier’s new, unsurprisingly controversial film The House that Jack Built without any warning last night.
The song of the day is “Flight from the City” by Jóhann Jóhannsson: