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Royals Rumblings - News for January 20, 2021

Anything important going on today?

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A small-breed black dog with tan accents frolicks toward the camera on artificial grass.
I have run out of baseball dogs, so today begins the rescue dog era of Wednesday Rumblings!
Minda Haas Kuhlmann

We have a new beat writer on Anne Rogers, who has been covering the Cardinals, will take up the role recently vacated by Jeffrey Flanagan:

Jim Callis rated Nick Pratto as the best defensive first base prospect in baseball:

1B: Nick Pratto, Royals (No. 12)The 14th overall pick in the 2017 Draft out of a California high school, Pratto has developed slower than expected offensively but has shown Gold Glove potential at first base. A better athlete than most at his position, he moves well around the bag, has a strong arm that made him a pitching prospect as an amateur and plays defense with an aggressive mindset.

Today in our friend Craig Brown’s newsletter Into the Fountains, a look at the 2021 payroll, which he projects to be about $83 million.

There are a couple of large contracts due to come off the books after this season. Danny Duffy and the Royals will almost certainly part ways. Salvador Perez will likely remain. And let’s not forget Jorge Soler, who could be setting himself up for a large payday with a successful season. (Especially if the National League finally adopts the designated hitter.) So it’s conceivable that payroll could drop in 2022, depending on how they approach the remainder of this winter and the next.

The current payroll, along with that flexibility looking ahead to 2022 means that the Royals, if they choose, could still shop in the quality department of the free agent store. On Monday I speculated Michael Brantley was a target the Royals could afford. Obviously, there are variables in play with COVID and the uncertainty about revenue streams rebounding anywhere close to 2019 levels, but the Royals appear to be in decent shape no matter what comes next.

The Royals signed Darnel Collins, an outfielder from the Netherlands. His brother Darryl Collins is already part of the Royals system.

Arizona signed former Royal (and former eight other teams) pitcher Ryan Buchter to a minors deal.

MLB seems interested in a scouting combine ahead of the draft; here’s what that would look like.

Hall of Famer Don Sutton passed away at the age of 75.

The Blue Jays signed reliever Kirby Yates.

Following the swift firing of disgraced new GM Jared Porter (more on that topic later this morning!), it looks like the Mets will move ahead with no GM rather than rushing through another hire this late in the winter.

Sarah Thomas has been named to the Super Bowl officiating crew. She is the first woman to earn this honor.

This Twitter exchange between Mack Wilson, whose tackle preceeded Patrick Mahomes’ scary episode, and Mahomes’s mom is surprisingly sweet.

Speaking of Mahomes, he’s expected to practice today.

Yesterday was Dolly Parton’s birthday, so here is a collection of things to read and hear about her.

The rescue operation where Joe and Jill Biden adopted their dog, Major, raised $200k in a virtual “indoguration” fundraiser. Major will be the first rescue dog to grace the White House with his presence, and is undoubtedly a Very Good Dog.

Rescue operations continue for the gold miners trapped underground for 10 days now.

Do you think this person is being a “dress code snob?” What is the dress code where you work?

Today’s fun and yet poignant question from Reddit: “What stranger will you never forget?

SOTD: for yesterday’s birthday queen. And for a better today and tomorrow.