Jim Bowden writes about each American League team’s needs this off-season.
Picollo has made it clear to other GMs and agents that his offseason goals are to add a proven veteran starting pitcher, improve the bullpen, and add a right-handed bat to the lineup, likely an outfielder, as he waits for the team’s strong young nucleus — led by Bobby Witt Jr., MJ Melendez and Vinnie Pasquantino — to develop. The key to the Royals’ future success will be finding ways to improve the development of their pitchers at all levels in their system. Don’t expect Kansas City to be big spenders this offseason as they’ll likely wait until they’re closer to becoming contenders in a couple of years. But don’t be surprised if they end up trading center fielder Michael A. Taylor and infielder/outfielder Hunter Dozier this offseason, if they can find the right deal.
MLB Pipeline looks at the top unprotected prospect from each team for the Rule 5 draft.
Royals: T.J. Sikkema, LHP (No. 16) It came as a bit of a shock that Kansas City didn’t protect Sikkema after acquiring him from the Yankees in the Andrew Benintendi trade, but the left-hander’s 7.44 ERA, 1.75 WHIP and .313 opponents’ average against in eight Double-A starts following the move didn’t help matters. The 38th overall pick in the 2019 Draft has two different fastballs and a slider that project as above-average, and there could be a club willing to take a risk at seeing how those play in an MLB bullpen right away.
Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter wonders if MJ Melendez’s future is in the outfield.
While Melendez still showcased a decent arm behind the plate at the Major League level last season (he threw out 11 runners on 29 attempts), his defensive struggles were quite evident, much to the detriment of the Royals overall. Melendez ranked in the bottom first percentile in framing, according to Baseball Savant, and he also posted a -18 DRS at the catching position (which means that he was 18 runs below average).
It is possible that the Royals may explore moving Melendez to the outfield full-time in 2023. This is especially amplified by the fact that he played 311.2 innings in the outfield last season, and with the outfield spots being “open” as of now with the departures of Andrew Benintendi and Whit Merrifield last season.
Jordan Foote at Inside the Royals writes about Vinnie Pasquantino’s praise of Bobby Witt Jr.
Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman writes the Royals are risking losing Logan Porter in the Rule 5 draft.
The White Sox sign Mike Clevinger to a one-year, $8 million deal.
The Padres sign Julio Teheran to a minor league deal.
The Dodgers have interest in Brewers shortstop Willy Adames.
The Twins are eyeing pitcher Carlos Rodon.
How MLB can improve the off-season.
Could Cody Bellinger be a bounceback candidate?
Reliever Roberto Osuna is re-signing with the Chiba Lotte Mariners in Japan.
The Commanders are criticized for their tribute to former safety Sean Taylor.
Wisconsin hires football coach Luke Fickell away from Cincinnati.
The U.S. has a bomb-sniffing dog shortage.
Your song of the day is LCD Soundsystem with Dance Yrself Clean.