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Royals Rumblings - News for December 5, 2019

How is that bullpen looking for next year?

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MLB: JUL 28 Indians at Royals Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for December 5, 2019

Alec Lewis takes an early peek at how the roster is looking for next year.

Similar to the rotation, the bullpen has a number of holes, which is likely why relievers are the real focus of this offseason. Both Barlow and Kennedy held high-leverage roles last year, and appear to be in line for the same in 2020.

The rest of the bullpen rotation is largely up in the air.

David Schoenfield of ESPN tries to come up with a trade for all 30 teams.

Kansas City Royals trade OF Jorge Soler to the Atlanta Braves for OF Ender Inciarte, RHP Kyle Wright and C Alex Jackson

The Braves deal from their arsenal of pitching prospects. Wright was the fifth overall pick in 2017 out of Vanderbilt and made four starts for the Braves in 2019, but his stuff has backed up a little and he looks more mid-rotation starter than potential ace. Jackson hit 26 home runs at Triple-A, although that came with a .229 average and a lot of strikeouts. Inciarte is included to offset most of Soler’s salary -- remember, Liberty Media and the Braves may be maxed out on payroll after signing Will Smith and Travis d’Arnaud -- and the Royals can keep him or flip him to a team looking for a center fielder. lists the best walk-off wins for each team last year.

Ryan O’Hearn hit the Royals’ only walk-off homer of the season in a Sept. 3 victory over the Tigers, while Whit Merrifield and Hunter Dozier had the club’s other two walk-off hits (both singles). It was Brett Phillips, however, who delivered the most memorable walk-off, hitting a game-winning sacrifice fly in the season finale to send Ned Yost off with a victory in his final game at the helm.

Jason Beck at lists each Central team’s top needs this winter.

The Royals need to bolster their bullpen, which was the second worst (5.07 ERA) in the AL in 2019. The back end of the bullpen is its strength with closer Ian Kennedy (30 saves) and setup men Scott Barlow and Tim Hill. But the Royals desperately need more bullpen depth and talent to bridge games to that back end.

Clint Scoles at Royals Academy profiles catcher Michael Emodi.

Cody Rickman at KC Kingdom looks for non-tendered bargains on the free agent market.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman makes the case for the Royals signing C.J. Cron.

The Phillies sign Zach Wheeler to a five-year, $118 million deal, spurning a better offer from the White Sox.

Cole Hamels signs with the Braves on a one-year deal.

The Angels acquire pitcher Dylan Bundy from the Orioles.

The Giants hire Brian Bannister.

The market for Nicholas Castellanos includes the Diamondbacks, Cubs, and Giants.

Carlos Carrasco and Josh Donaldson win “Comeback Player of the Year” awards.

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo wins “Executive of the Year.”

The Mets are in negotiations to sell 80 percent of the team to Steve Cohen.

The Rays are no longer negotiating a plan to split their season between Florida and Montreal.

The Rangers unveil some powder blue uniforms this year.

The Angels agree to a deal to keep them in Anaheim through 2050.

The Marlins will install artificial turf and bring in the fences next year.

Baseball writer Jen Ramos was involved in a tragic car collision with a drunk driver that killed her husband and left her in need of medical care. Please consider donating to their GoFundMe page.

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A look at all the uniforms and helmets for the new XFL teams.

Astronauts are setting fires in space...on purpose!

Peloton saw its stock drop after backlash to its Thanksgiving weekend ad.

The best TV shows of 2019.

Your song of the day is Tom Petty with Wildflowers.