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Weekend Rumblings - News for December 28, 2019

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Maikel Franco is finally a Royal for real.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Weekend Rumblings - News for December 28, 2019

Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors looks at the remaining needs of AL Central teams.

Given the team’s current long-term approach, it’s surprising that the soon-to-turn-31 Whit Merrifield isn’t more available on the trade market. However, general manager Dayton Moore has steadfastly maintained that he expects Merrifield to be a part of the Royals’ next competitive club and has resisted all offers dating back to last offseason. The Royals locked Merrifield up to a very affordable extension last winter, and the club could conceivably explore long-term arrangements with the likes of Adalberto Mondesi or Jorge Soler this spring.

Alec Lewis of The Athletic has ten predictions for the 2020 season.

2. Soler signs an extension ahead of spring training

A couple of weeks ago, in San Diego at the Winter Meetings, Moore sat in the suite of his hotel and discussed Jorge Soler’s contract situation. At 27, Soler has an opt-out clause in his contract, allowing him to file for arbitration this offseason. Being that 2019 was Soler’s career season, the Royals are in for a pretty penny. That said, they can avoid arbitration by extending Soler’s contract.

Moore confirmed the Royals’ internal discussions on a possible Soler extension at the Winter Meetings. What could that number be? There are similarities to a player such as Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk, who signed a five-year, $52 million deal at age 27. Grichuk was more proven with less power. Signing Soler provides continuity for a future core as well as everyday production in the heart of the lineup.

The Maikel Franco signing is official.

Salvador Perez welcomes the birth of his daughter, Paulina.

Sam McDowell writes about Bob Kendrick and the work he has done for the Negro League Baseball Museum.

Years ago, on his first trip, Dee Gordon was awestruck by Cool Papa Bell and the tales he’d hear Kendrick weave. “Cool Papa Bell was so fast he could flip off the switch and be in bed by the time the light shut off,” Kendrick says, explaining how a short in the switch rang that story true.

“It makes me feel good to know the way I play the game is exactly the same,” Gordon said. “It’s kind of hereditary, you know what I’m saying?

“It started with them. I play just like them — joyous, love the game, entertain as much as possible.”

Former Royals pitcher Norm Angelini has died at the age of 72.

Ten amazing moments from the 2019 baseball season.

Who were the best overall hitters from the decade?

The most memorable baseball-related Sports Illustrated covers from the decade.

An insider’s view of the contentious battle between MLB and minor league baseball.

Is tanking in the NFL a thing?

Would the NFL allow Antonio Brown to play for the Saints?

Can DNA tests really determine your ethnicity?

The 50 best podcasts of 2019.

The Mandalorian saved its best for last.

Your song of the day is Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong with Cheek to Cheek.