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Royals Rumblings - News for December 9, 2021

Could Duffman return to Kansas City?

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Baltimore Orioles v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for December 9, 2021

Alec Lewis writes about pressing matters for the Royals to take on once the lockout is over.

The Royals owe Santana $10.5 million for 2022, which is a lot considering his FanGraphs WAR-to-dollars value in 2020 (0.5 WAR) and 2021 (-0.3 WAR) was worth a combined $1.5 million. Gulp. The Royals, in conversations with other teams, will likely place some blame on Santana’s Grade 2 quad strain, which required a platelet-rich-plasma injection after the season. Still, Santana, who will soon turn 36, will be a lot to take on for $10.5 million.

In that case, the Royals brass will likely need the blessing of ownership to eat some money. The reasoning may be this: Rather than pay $10.5 million for Santana, who would clog up opportunities for promising first-base prospects, let’s eat $5.5 million, leaving us $5 million to go sign a capable bullpen arm. That pitch makes sense. So, once the lockout ends, the challenge for the Royals will be finding a team willing to trade for Santana.

Andy McCullough writes that Danny Duffy has avoided Tommy John surgery and will likely be a reliever next year.

A subsequent examination by Dr. Neal ElAttrache lightened his burden. The doctor determined Duffy’s ulnar collateral ligament did not need repair. Duffy underwent surgery to fix his flexor tendon in late October. The free agent left-hander plans to start a throwing program in March and intends to be ready to pitch by June.

“I’m pumped,” Duffy said on Wednesday, as he drove through the hills near his home outside Lompoc, Calif. “I was going to take it to the house. But I got the itch. I’ve got more in the tank, for sure.”

David Lesky writes about the difference between Royals pitchers in the first half and second half.

My belief is that the uptick in the pitching largely came from the starters being fine enough to pitch a little deeper into games and keep a bullpen a little fresher. That bullpen also added Tapia, a healthier Staumont and Richard Lovelady reaching the big leagues and pitching like we all hoped he would years ago. While Lovelady won’t be a part of things in 2022, Dylan Coleman will and he looked like the real deal in an extremely limited sample. I think the bullpen improvement was for real and the starting pitching helped that even without the peripherals indicating they were actually significantly better.

With Buck O’Neil now in the Hall of Fame, Sam Mellinger considers if anyone else with local ties has been snubbed.

Bill James, and it’s not close, because this is a pretty easy case to make:

Through his relentless challenge of conventional wisdom, James changed the way baseball is watched and played more than anyone else in the last 40 years.

His books — starting with the Baseball Abstracts, which nerds of a certain age got for Christmas every year as kids — set the framework for an entirely different way of analyzing and competing in the sport.

We can have a healthy debate about the unintended consequences of all this, and a conflict that baseball now often feels between the most efficient and most aesthetically pleasing ways of the sport being played, but James’ career shifted baseball enormously.

Ken Rosenthal gives his thoughts on what a collective bargaining agreement should look like.

It is not entirely clear what the legal reason is for MLB pulling all player likenesses from their media.

Could Orioles pitcher John Means become a trade target for teams?

The Phillies will pursue outfielders when the lockout ends.

Are the Braves wasting an opportunity to repeat as champions?

The Mets interview former A’s manager Bob Geren and longtime skipper Buck Showalter for their open position.

Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis, Jr. is involved in a minor motorcycle accident.

Cleveland’s Jack Graney wins the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting.

A look back at when the Boston Braves became the Boston Bees.

NCAA President Mark Emmert calls university president the “hardest job in America.”

An extremely windy day in Turkey made for interesting shots in a tennis tournament.

Most Twitter users are lurkers, while most tweets come from just a small group of people.

Sylvester Stallone will star in a new mafia series called Kansas City.

A food writer reviews a surreal experience at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Your song of the day is Broken Bells with The Ghost Inside.