Weekend Rumblings - News for December 8, 2018
Jeffrey Flangan previews the Winter Meetings.
Whom might they trade? There will be a lot of rumors about Merrifield, no doubt. But the same reasons Merrifield is attractive to other teams (he is under club control through 2022) are the same reasons he is attractive to the Royals. The Royals have prospect Nicky Lopez (No. 7 per MLB Pipeline) waiting in the wings at second base, but he doesn’t have to go on the 40-man roster until next fall. The other case for not trading Merrifield is his leadership role in the clubhouse, which is vital during a rebuild.
Sam McDowell does a preview for the Star as well.
Bubba Starling could be returning to the Royals.
FYI, the Royals still are hoping to bring back Bubba Starling on a Minor League deal -- he was non-tendered last week. Club officials believe if he can stay healthy he has a legitimate shot to make his MLB debut in 2019. They consider him part of the CF mix.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) December 7, 2018
David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City isn’t high on the Chris Owings signing.
There was a time that Owings was highly regarded and he’s still just 27 years old. But he’s also six years into a big league career where he’s hit .250/.291/.378 playing half his games at what was a hitter’s paradise before the 2018 season. And the role he’s presumably in for is to be a utility infielder, which includes backing up the shortstop position. Sounds fine, I suppose, but Owings didn’t play shortstop at all in 2018. Why? Well, the metrics say he isn’t especially good there. I haven’t seen a ton of him, so maybe the metrics are missing something in him, but my concern is that if you bring in a guy who can’t hit, he better be very good defensively and Owings just isn’t.
David Schoenfield at ESPN proposes trading Whit Merrifield to the Dodgers for outfielder Alex Verdugot and pitcher Caleb Ferguson.
Verdugo would be the key to the trade for the Royals. The young outfielder is regarded as the Dodgers’ top prospect, but there isn’t an obvious fit for him right now in Los Angeles -- especially with the team also potentially pursuing Bryce Harper in free agency. Verdugo projects as a high-average, line-drive hitter, a perfect fit for the big alleys in Kansas City. Ferguson is a 22-year-old lefty who pitched well out of the bullpen as a rookie in 2018 but flashed starter potential in 2017 at Class A when he fanned 140 in 122 ⅓ innings. White is a hard-throwing righty who pitched in Double-A in 2018 and at least projects as a good bullpen arm if he doesn’t make it as a starter
MLB.com looks at each team’s bets first-round draft pick over the last decade, and it’s.....not good for the Royals.
Aaron Crow, RHP, Royals, 2009 (No. 12 overall)The Royals haven’t fared well in the first round during the last decade, though Crow made the All-Star Game as a rookie in 2011, and was an effective reliever for four seasons until he blew out his elbow shortly after a trade to the Marlins. Cristian Colon (No. 4 overall, 2010) didn’t have as much sustained success but delivered the championship-winning hit in the 2015 World Series.
The Fangraphs podcast has former Royals outfielder Terrance Gore as a guest.
Kansas City native and former Royals pither Tommy Hottovy is the new Cubs pitching coach.
Agent Scott Boras thinks baseball is undergoing an “analytics catastrophe.”
The Dodgers may be shopping outfielder Yasiel Puig.
The Cardinals hire a “game-planning coach.”
Former Marlins president David Samson gives a very candid interview, slamming Joe Girarid and Barry Bonds in the process.
Baseball may have a problem with agents covering up positive drug tests from players.
Jeff Zimmerman looks at how aging affects the ability to hit different pitches.
The Giants are excited about signing an outfielder from South Africa.
Lance Armstrong is irked that he gets more criticism than Alex Rodriguez.
Seth Littrell won’t be leaving North Texas for Kansas State.
This Korean sportscaster motors on despite blood flowing from his nose.
Why do we still have to sign credit card receipts?
Your song of the day is Miles Davis with Flamenco Sketches.