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Weekend Rumblings - News for December 21, 2019

What a decade of Royals baseball.

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MLB: NOV 01 World Series - Game 5 - Royals at Mets Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Weekend Rumblings - News for December 21, 2019

In a mailbag column, Alec Lewis explains what the Royals saw in Maikel Franco.

While we’re discussing Franco, the Royals also did their homework on Franco’s hitting mechanics, which had changed this past season. In the demotion story, Gelb wrote: “The Phillies asked Franco to stop hitting the ball on the ground. He is slow and blessed with a powerful swing. But the result was an infield popup rate (23.7 percent) that was higher this season than any other hitter with at least 200 plate appearances in the majors.”

The Royals, who revamped their hitting-development department late in the season with director of hitting performance Alec Zumwalt streamlining communication among hitting coaches, noticed a few oddities in Franco’s swing from his more successful seasons (2016-18) to last season (2019) in a video study session. The Royals are optimistic they can correct him.

Jeffrey Flanagan ranks the top Royals players of the decade.

10. Alcides Escobar

Seasons: 2011-18

OK, this one might be controversial. But he solidified a shortstop position that was brutal for decades before he arrived. And he was an All-Star and a Gold Glover who was the 2015 American League Championship Most Valuable Player.

A few Royals deals made Mike Petriello’s top trades of the decade (h/t cmkeller), including the Zack Greinke deal.

Were the takes good or bad? No one liked this for the Royals. Sensing a theme? The return for Kansas City was “OK, not great,” wrote this particular author. ”If that was the best they could do, should have waited.” One prominent Royals blog flatly stated, “I don’t like the trade.” At FanGraphs, it was: “My first reaction to the package coming to Kansas City was: Really, that’s it?” It was more favorable for Milwaukee; ESPN’s Keith Law wrote that if you make a trade like this, “you do it for an impact player who dramatically increases your chances to reach or advance in the postseason in the upcoming season.”

Alex Duvall talked to Royals prospect Daniel Lynch during the Arizona Fall League.

Question: “Going into this next offseason, what are you looking to do besides improving your routine and being able to throw your changeup in any count? Do you think you’ve done that?”

Lynch: “I think I’ve done a really good job since I’ve got here. When I got back to Wilmington, it was sort of getting back in the groove of things [and] getting back to being myself. I think here I’ve thrown a couple (changeups) 2-2, 2nd and 3rd, 2 out. Like 1-0 change-ups, 2-0 change-ups. It’s just getting that confidence and feel for it and I think I’ve done a good job with that so far.”

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman looks at the worst free agent signings for the Royals this decade.

Former Royals catcher Erik Kratz signs with the Yankees.

The Twins add relievers Sergio Romo and Tyler Clippard.

The Nationals and Twins are pursuing Josh Donaldson aggressively.

The Indians set a deadline for Francisco Lindor trade offers.

Is Corey Dickerson the best free agent no one is talking about?

What defined MLB in the 2010s?

Baseball will make $1 billion off their deal with Nike.

Hannah Keyser at Yahoo! questions if we need reporter scoops on MLB transactions.

The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo could cost over $26 billion.

Why we’re seeing more females hired for positions in football.

Is American infrastructure ready for electric cars?

The Rise of Skywalker’s opening crawl references an event you could only hear in Fortnite.

The 18 best TV shows of 2019.

Your song of the day is Billie Holliday with God Bless This Child.