Finishing up his work at the winter meetings, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan put a wrap on the Royals actions:
Planting seeds. That was the crux of the Royals’ work here at the Winter Meetings this week at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. The Royals made only one transaction -- they took right-hander Stephen Woods Jr. with the No. 4 pick in the Rule 5 Draft -- but they worked the phones, setting up future deals to find bullpen help, perhaps another starting pitcher and possibly a versatile infielder who can play third base.
The big news yesterday was the Rule V (“Five” not “Vee”) Draft and the Royals selection of Stephen Woods from the Rays.
Of course, you know Drew Osborne over at Royals Farm Report was all over that, scouting some game footage:
Woods also throws a curve that is a true swing and miss pitch. When he stays on top of it and spins it hard, it has a lot of movement from the belt down to the toes. The movement is not 12-6 but more 11-5 from the catcher’s view. The pitch is sharp and resulted in several “Sword!” calls. I only saw Woods hang this pitch one time and it got hammered for a single on the ground through the left side. The rest of the time, the pitch worked down in the zone well. I did see him bury the curve in to LHHs a few times resulting in swings and misses.
Lynn Worthy at The Star also wrote about Woods:
The Royals have been fans of Woods since scouting him out of high school, and they’ve kept tabs on him through college and while in the minors...
Current scout and former Royals Rule 5 selection Nate Adcock made the announcement of the club’s selection in a ballroom of the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego on the final day of the MLB Winter Meetings.
At Fangraphs, Eric Longenhagen had scouting reports for all Rule 5 picks:
4. Kansas City Royals Stephen Woods Jr., RHP (from TBR) Woods had big stuff in college but struggled to throw strikes. The Giants made him a more viable strike-thrower before trading him to Tampa Bay as part of the robust Evan Longoria package. At his best, Woods was 93-96 with a plus curveball. He had a labrum issue in 2018 and missed the whole year, then came back in 2019 and posted an ERA under two, albeit as a 24-year-old in A-ball. His velo was down, 91-94 touching 96, but he has the coveted 12:30 spin axis on the fastball and still has quality breaking stuff. If his velo is all the way back in the spring he has a shot to stick, but he’s a high-risk to bounce back to the Rays anyway because of his erratic history of control.
Over at CBS Sports, R.J. Anderson did the same:
4. RHP Stephen Woods Jr., Royals (from Rays)
The most notable aspect of Woods Jr.’s career to date is that he was involved in the Evan Longoria trade. He’s thrown 86 innings over the past two years due to injury. The Royals aren’t too far removed from striking … well, not quite gold, but something with the Brad Keller pick.
Dan Szymborski (Szymborski! Szymborski!) does ZIPS projections for each of the picks. Stephen Woods is projected to have positive value (barely).
With an eye to the noise at the Winter Meetings, Alec Lewis at The Athletic (sub required) looks at the 2020 Royals:
The Royals have been in the market for a cost-efficient third baseman. What could that mean for Hunter Dozier and the 2020 lineup? I went through some of the possibilities here: https://t.co/7RYWKojMkb— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) December 12, 2019
Of course, KOK is still cranking out stories as fast as I can link to them:
- Mike Gillespie asks “Are the Royals considering Greg Holland?”
- Michael Huckins states “Eli White is an intriguing Rule 5 utility prospect”
- He also suggests “Steven Fuentes worth considering for team”
- Shaun Bauman slideshows “5 prospects who could join club in 2020”
- Jordan Foote implores us “Don’t put too much stock in Whit/SD rumors”
- Finally, he does a “Top prospect rewind [with] IF Brady McConnell”
As the Best of Royals Review (TM) team will be out the rest of this year, this will be our last one of the year. Nay, it’s the last one of the decade! So let’s go revisit the best Royals year of the decade, 2015. After Athletics Nation had declared Kelvin Herrera is a disgrace to baseball, BlitzAce71, in a Fan...Post (whatpost?) cheekily rebutted with Brett Lawrie is a disgrace to baseball.
Tim Webber had the real answer (in yet another FanPost): Baseballs are a disgrace to baseball.
But nobody’s mentioned the true culprit in all of this -- the real reason the A’s and Royals have become baseball’s hottest rivalry.
Baseballs are a disgrace to baseball.
Just think how much this situation could have been avoided if the Royals and A’s played baseball without the baseball.
H/T to cmkeller for the reminder about this one.
More than enough news from around the Winter Meetings to fill up this section.
Yahoo’s Mike Oz declares Scott Boras the obvious winner of the winter meetings.
His stable also includes Dallas Keuchel, Nicholas Castellanos and Hyun-Jin Ryu. If you add Mike Moustakas’ $64 million contract with the Reds, Boras’ total is $878 million this offseason, with $1 billion in contracts looking pretty likely.
CBS Sports also has their winners/losers of the Winter Meetings column. I included this because I was curious what type of cut he’s expected to get from the signings:
We covered Boras’ winter-to-date elsewhere, but the short version is that he’s likely to top $1 billion in contracts by the time the month is over. Presuming his commission is something like five percent, that means he’ll make $50 million off his negotiations this offseason. Pretty good.
The Yankees gave Gerrit Cole some crazy “30-pound-ish contraption” as part of their pitch to get him to New York.
“The Yankees provided Cole one of their favorite toys,” Sherman wrote. He went on to describe the item, saying it was, “a 30-pound-ish contraption shaped like home plate with a giant interlocking ‘NY’ that when opened reveals a facsimile of Yankee Stadium.”
...Sherman added that this contraption was complete, “With an iPad in the middle that contains pretty much every question you would have about the franchise — from breakdowns of all 27 championship teams to where to live and have your kids go to school, etc.”
I am picturing holograms of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez saying in a very inviting tone, “Welcome, you have been selected because the Yankees think you have the talent. And they are prepared to pay you large sums of money for that talent. Here’s what you need to know about playing in pinstripes.”
The Mets GM declared that they have the deepest rotation in baseball. I guess it’s possible:
Assuming the team doesn’t trade anyone, the Mets will open the year with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz and one of Porcello or Wacha in the rotation.
At Fangraphs, Jay Jaffe takes a closer look at the Home Run Committee report:
All of which suggests that everybody — the league, teams, players, analysts, and fans — may have to contend with what Arthur called “a roller-coaster ride of longball rates, abrupt changes from month to month, and epidemics of pitcher blisters” going forward. Buckle up.
How do you get a job in baseball? It starts with a boxy suit, a stack of resumes, a Christmas present trip to the winter meetings and a hotel lobby. On the job seekers — the kids who give the winter meetings its spirit — and the execs who were once them: https://t.co/x9K2KSv4iX— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) December 12, 2019
And, in news that will probably stun... well, no one: the Ricketts family has done something of dubious legality, appalling morality, and then doubled down on it. This particular instance concerns their expensive renovation making Wrigley Field even less ADA compliant than the century old ballpark already was. Below is the quick summary, but really, read the whole article by Sheryl Ring:
This saga provides needed context for the Ricketts family’s claims that the renovations to Wrigley Field have taxed the family’s resources. This financial injury suffered by Cubs ownership - to the extent a family worth $4.5 billion suffers any real financial injury at all - is entirely self-inflicted. The Cubs tried to skirt a law designed to ensure equal access to public venues, using denial of access to disabled fans as a way to save money. They were caught, sued, and then argued that denying a disabled person access to a baseball game isn’t a real harm because disabled fans wouldn’t go anyway. Only after a court ruled differently did the team finally submit to a federal review, doing so in a manner designed to harm even more disabled people in the process. And now, the team is using the cost overruns from this self-inflicted ableist misadventure as a justification for potentially trading the team’s best player.
Hokius was right last week - I went back and checked and I haven’t used Kingdom Hearts yet this year and if I’m going to pick a song for Friday the 13th during the holiday season, I can think of none better.