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Royals Rumblings - News for November 4, 2021

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The Hot Stove heats up.

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for November 4, 2021

Alec Lewis talks to Dayton Moore and J.J. Picollo about the off-season plans.

“We’d love to get a top-of-the-rotation guy,” Moore said, “but when’s the last time we signed one?”

It’s a valid question. The Royals’ payroll has never allowed for that type of signing. When the club has moved quickly with pitchers such as Jason Vargas and Minor, they’ve done so with the advantage of prior relationships. Trading for a proven starter is the likelier option, but that would require the Royals parting with premier talent.

“Like always, what we’ll do in building our team is, we’ll look internally,” Moore said. “Then we’ll look to make trades. Then we’ll explore the free-agent market. … It’s going to be really difficult for us to sign a starting pitcher.”

Alec also looks at the 40-man roster and assesses the staying power of each player.

Nicky Lopez, SS: Lopez’s value is likely as high as it has ever been. In 2021, he batted .300, posted a 102 OPS+ and struck out only 79 times in 565 plate appearances. He also played exceptional defense at shortstop. He’s a Royals-type player. His ability to connect with fans is something Kansas City will continue to cherish. It’s just that the Royals have a bevy of middle-infield options (Bobby Witt Jr., for one). And Lopez is Super Two-eligible, meaning he will be eligible for arbitration this offseason. If another team were to offer something, it would probably make sense for the Royals to listen.

He also writes about the relationship between World Series MVP Jorge Soler and former Royals beat writer Dick Kaegel.

Because Dick was no longer covering the team — he retired from MLB.com in 2014 after a career that began in the 1950s — he and Betty mingled with Soler often. They ate dinners together. They enjoyed birthdays together. After games, Kaegel, who loves the game too much to stay away, would talk with Soler inside the clubhouse as Jorley bounced around. The time together even led to a nickname for Dick from Jorley: “Hombre.”

“That’s what they call me,” Dick said, laughing. “The whole family, it’s, ‘How’s hombre?’ Jorley, he’s a great kid.”

Pete Grathoff gets reactions from Soler’s former teammates on his World Series performance.

Soler’s home run ball ended up at an apartment party across the street.

The Royals make some front office moves.

David Lesky at Inside the Crown looks back on the Royals’ pitching this year.

What changed is what has me a bit worried moving forward for the starters. They struck out 21.8 percent of batters in the first half, but that fell to 19.7 percent. On the good side, the walk rate followed, dropping from 9.4 percent to 8.6 percent. But if your glass is half empty, you could say they were fourth-worst in the league in starter walk rate in the first half and third-worst in the second half, so they got worse relative to the league. If you were wondering, they were 20th in first half strikeout rate and 22nd in second half, so maybe there wasn’t that much of a change.

Craig Brown at Into the Fountains looks at the Royals transactions from the last week.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter has an in-depth look at the Royals’ reported interest in Japanese free agent outfielder Seiya Suzuki.

Jerry Edwards at Inside the Royals considers a Jackson Kowar trade to Cleveland.

Giants catcher Buster Posey will retire today.

Dusty Baker will return as manager of the Astros but pitching coach Brent Strom will not return.

Joc Pederson sends a message to new Braves fan Harry Styles.

Mariners pitcher Yusei Kikuchi declines his option and will become a free agent.

Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer will decline his opt out.

The Mets will interview Boston’s Raquel Ferreira for their GM job.

This World Series was the second-least watched series in TV history.

The Mariners’ window of contention is just starting to open.

The Astros were a good team, but they needed to be great.

No, MLB teams aren’t stupid by shifting.

Why the Texans didn’t trade Deshaun Watson.

The College Football Playoff committee has no intention of letting Cincinnati into its exclusive club.

Methane emissions should get more attention in discussions about climate change.

Biologists vastly underestimated how much whales eat and poop.

Is Call of Duty getting a bit too real?

Your song of the day is Melissa Etheridge with As Cool As You Try.