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Royals Rumblings - News for December 12, 2018

This isn’t necessarily Ned’s swan song.

MLB: Winter Meetings Daniel Clark-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for December 12, 2018

Dayton Moore says Billy Hamilton will start in center and bring his elite defense to help the team.

The other concern with Hamilton has been his low on-base percentage, which was .299 over the last two seasons. But Moore said Hamilton’s ability to cover the spacious Kauffman Stadium outfield trumped that concern.

”Elite defense overcame that,” Moore said. “We’re aware of all the offensive stuff, but it’s all in context of the team. If we can play elite defense and have an elite base stealing team, that can separate us. You don’t want to be average at a bunch of things. I think we were at times average at things over the last year.”

Craig Edwards at Fangraphs thinks the Royals will feature a great defensive outfield with Billy Hamilton in the mix.

Given the terms of Hamilton’s deal with Kansas City, there wasn’t likely a robust trade market for him. In Kansas City, he should get the opportunity to show off his great defensive skills and base running for a team not likely to win a lot of games next year. The Royals still seem to be committed to Brett Phillips, part of the return for Mike Moustakas last season in a deadline deal with the Brewers. That means that Phillips will likely move to right field, and with Alex Gordon in left field, the team should have very good outfield defense, though perhaps not quite on the level of the Boston Red Sox.

Hamilton seems like a good fit to patrol Kauffman Stadium.

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus doesn’t quite get how the Hamilton signing fits the rebuild.

It’s just that he’s just a player who doesn’t fit on the Royals, but that’s sort of the M.O. of this front office at times. It would arguably be more interesting to see what happens with a full season of Goodwin and/or Phillips patrolling center field. So let the Billy Hamilton era begin....While $5.25 million is a relative pittance in baseball terms, it’s far too much of the team’s supposed remaining budget for a player who is far more likely to be designated for assignment in August than traded in July. Either way, Hamilton’s time seems likely to go by as fast as him on the bases … or one of his at bats.

Welcome to Kansas City, Billy.

Ned Yost says 2019 won’t necessarily be his last one managing.

But the short-term contract isn’t meant to be read as a swan song. Yost said he envisions a scenario in which he’s managing beyond 2019. The concept of building remains a desirable part of the job.

“As long as your players continue to respond to your message, you’re in good shape,” said Yost, who was hired in May 2010. “The minute they stop responding to your message, it’s time to change the messenger. But our guys, they continue to work hard; they continue to respect the game; they continue to play hard. They respond to the message.”

The Royals still hope to bring back Bubba Starling on a minor league deal.

“I think if we get one more year with him, I think he’ll make it,” Moore said. “That’s what I think.”

Royals prospect Nick Heath was named to the All-Arizona Fall League team.

A MLB auction will raise money to fix vandalism damage to the Negro League Baseball Museum.

The Phillies land free agent outfielder Andrew McCutchen.

The White Sox pick up pitcher Ivan Nova from the Pirates.

Baltimore hires Cubs coach Brandon Hyde to be their new manager.

The Blue Jays release Troy Tulowitzki with $38 million left on his contract.

MLB Pipeline has potential picks for the Rule 5 draft, including Royals pitcher Foster Griffin. J.J. Cooper at Baseball America has his extensive preview as well.

The Cubs are looking for another David Ross to provide veteran presence.

The rise of analytics is a topic of discussion at the Winter Meetings.

How state taxes could steer where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado end up.

Commissioner Rob Manfred blasts a stadium deal for the Rays that appears to be falling apart.

Jayson Stark wins the J.C. Spink Award from the Hall of Fame.

Craig Calcaterra ranks the most handsome managers in baseball.

The next frontier of baseball and the law may involve player privacy in analytics.

George Steinbrenner IV is looking to make a name in IndyCar.

Did free pens create the opioid crisis?

It is surprisingly difficult to give away billions of dollars to charity.

The worst films of 2018.

Your song of the day is Sturgill Simpson with Turtles All the Way Down.