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Weekend Rumblings - News for December 22, 2018

Where will Nicky Lopez play?

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Kansas City Royals Photo Day Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Weekend Rumblings - News for December 22, 2018

Rustin Dodd at The Athletic had a chat session and addressed how the Royals could make room for Nicky Lopez.

Dayton Moore has said that Nicky Lopez has the ability to play third base. I think Whit Merrifield could play there some as well. I think the plan is to open with some combination of Cuthbert and Dozier there. I’ve also heard Royals officials talk about using Dozier (or Cuthbert, I guess) at first base against left-handed pitching.

The real question, of course, is what the Royals decide to do if they deep [sic] Lopez ready. I could see a hypothetical where Lopez is starting 3-4 days a week at second base, and Merrifield is playing third, left, second, etc. The good news is the Royals have the leeway to experiment.

Dodd also writes about the future of Bubba Starling.

The Royals say they are not walking away from Starling. This is not the end. They signed Starling to a minor-league deal last week. They believe in his potential and tools. They are hopeful that the 2019 season will offer a reset, an opportunity to return to Triple-A Omaha, play every day and find his footing.

“Bubba just missed a year,” Moore said. “At this time last year, we felt really encouraged. And he’s had a string of bad luck. We like Bubba Starling a lot. We think Bubba still has a lot of upside.”

MLB Pipeline looks at one prospect from each organization that could break through this year.

Kyle Isbel, OF, Royals No. 14Isbel took a leap forward during his junior season at UNLV, before the Royals took him in the third round of the 2018 Draft. The 21-year-old carried that momentum into his professional debut, where he hit .326 with seven homers over 64 games. Isbel finished the year with Class A Lexington, and his initial success, along with his compact swing and patient approach, could be foreshadowing a big full-season debut in ‘19.

Grant Brisbee ranks the teams that should sign Bryce Harper.

17. Kansas City Royals

Because it would be awesome and funny, yes. Because it makes sense for anyone to sign a perennial all-star in his mid-20s, even the bad teams. But also because the aesthetics of Harper hitting behind two or three guys with 50 steals and a sub-.280 OBP would be extremely pleasing to me. Thirty homers, 34 RBI.

Make it happen, please.

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report looks at comps for Scott Blewett.

Oakland picks up Jurickson Profar in a three-team trade with the Rangers and Rays.

The Rockies land infielder Daniel Murphy on a two-year deal.

The Cardinals are close to signing reliever Andrew Miller.

The Mets may make a run at Mike Moustakas.

Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia undergoes a heart procedure.

Eno Sarris asks how many good players does a team need to compete?

MLB is considering allowing streaming apart from a pay-TV subscription.

The Cubs are launching their own TV channel.

The Mariners sign a stadium naming rights deal with T-Mobile.

Former Marlins president David Samson had a profane response to fans that booed him.

Mike Piazza’s foray into Italian soccer club ownership is not going well.

College football bowl mascots, ranked.

Gatwick Airport in London was shut down for 32 hours because of mysterious drones.

The highest-paid comedians in 2018 were all men, or men holding puppets.

The best science fiction and fantasy books of 2018.

Your song of the day is Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers with Moanin’.