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Royals Rumblings - News for January 14, 2021

We could see fans at The K this summer.

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New York Mets v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for January 14, 2021

Alec Lewis writes about how a 17-year relationship with Rene Francisco helped the Royals land Carlos Santana.

“We’re looking for a hitter,” Francisco told Santana. “You may be part of this thing. I don’t know where it’s going to end up. But it’s something that has to fit for us.”

It was important Francisco tell him that at the beginning of the free agency process, he felt, and he could because of the bond they’d built.

“Rene, I love Kansas City,” Santana responded. “I love to hit in that park. I want a family-oriented type of atmosphere and city.”

Lynn Worthy writes that momentum is building for fans to attend Royals games this year.

“We’re very hopeful and expect fans to be at Kauffman Stadium certainly at some point,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said last week. “(CEO and chairman) John (Sherman) is working on that with our city leaders and health officials just to make sure that we’re doing all that’s necessary to keep people healthy, keep people safe, give them confidence in attending a baseball game.

“So we’re just going to work through that together. There are a lot of smart people that understand what we need to do. I do believe that we’ll have fans at some point in time.”

Ben Clemens at Fangraphs looks at the benefit of six-man rotations.

Take the Royals, for example. Their best five starters — Brady Singer, Mike Minor, Kris Bubic, Brad Keller, and Danny Duffy — project for an average 4.70 ERA. Their prospective sixth starter, Jakob Junis, projects for a 4.87 ERA. That difference, expressed over 150 innings, is worth roughly three runs. Per my admittedly hazy math, the Royals might be better off with a six-man rotation even before considering the injury benefits.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter thinks Hunter Dozier could have some competition at third from Kelvin Gutierrez.

Are Royals fans seeing that launch angle adjustment from Gutierrez? His -1.8 and 6.1 launch angle the past two years, according to Baseball Savant, seem to confirm Pipeline’s concerns. However, in Winter League play, the Dominican-born corner infielder has showed the kind of launch in his swing that has not only produced a multitude of runs in LIDOM competition, but also shows the potential Gutierrez could bring to the third base position in 2021 and beyond, if he can transition that swing to Kansas City.

The Astros sign reliever Pedro Baez.

Free agent Corey Kluber had a showcase with 25 teams watching him.

The Athletics are interested in bringing reliever Joakim Soria back.

The Blue Jays give CEO Mark Shapiro a five-year contract extension.

Young pitchers won’t be ready for a 162-game schedule.

Some Arizona officials want MLB to delay spring training by a month.

What if players were free agents every year?

Andrew Simon at lists five teams that should be aggressive this winter.

MLB suspends all political donations indefinitely.

Alex Rodriguez is sued by his brother-in-law, who claims the ballplayer profited from hurricane relief.

The winners and losers of the James Harden deal.

A way-to-early look at the top 25 for college football next fall.

A man can’t remember the password to access his $220 million worth of Bitcoin.

GM unveils a self-driving Cadillac that can fly.

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show is about the return of Sauron.

Your song of the day is Otis Redding with I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.