At The Athletic, Jayson Jenks gathered rankings from experts on who would have the most trade value for the Royals:
• Let’s run down the consensus top five. Witt isn’t going anywhere. Singer is 26, and it seems more likely the Royals sign him to an extension than move him. Trading Lynch would be selling low. And if the Royals were one move away from contention, you could make a case to part with Cross, the team’s 2022 first-round pick. But the Royals are not one move away. You might have noticed I skipped one name …
• Melendez is the most interesting player on the list, at least to me. The Royals don’t exactly have an excess of outfield talent, but if they believe Cross can advance through the system quickly and they trust Drew Waters’ progress, Melendez is the player who makes the most sense as a trade chip.
At PitcherList, Eric Dadmun has some Royals fantasy sleepers and busts, including Vinnie Pasquantino as a sleeper:
The fact that his performance last year was elite shouldn’t be up for too much debate, but the question now turns to how he can keep it up next year. He’s a young hitter and young hitters often have holes in their swing that major-league pitching can exploit. This forces the sophomore hitter into playing catch-up all year, trying to close holes in their swing while not allowing others to open up, leading to the aptly named “sophomore slump”. Why will Pasquantino avoid this? The holes in his swing are small and extremely dangerous to try to exploit consistently.
Nick Pratto is engaged! Congrats to Nick and Hannah.
Former Royal Jason Grimsley wrote a book detailing his post-retirement struggles with addiction in a new book. Bob Nightengale of USA Today wrote about it [content note for suicide at the link, and substance use disorder in the following quote]:
Grimsley and his family moved back to Kansas City for three years. He purchased a couple of buildings, opened a baseball facility, and then moved permanently to Hockley, Texas (population, 21,537) in 2009. He invested in his cousin’s pharmaceutical company, along with a commercial waste technology company and became a part-time hunting guide, but his life slowly spiraled out of control. It was alcohol. Then cocaine. Then meth. And then everything he could get his hands on.
“He always dealt with two people, an angel on one shoulder and a demon on the other,” [Jeremy] Affeldt said. “Baseball was good for him in many ways, but also bad in many ways. When you saw him out of uniform, he was happy, full of life. When he was in uniform, it was a battle. He had to go to a different place to compete.”
Grimsley discovered he was unable to cope with life without baseball, and his life quietly unraveled. He managed to hide his addiction nearly for years, really, even from himself.
“I was taking anything I could get my hands on,” he said. “I just wanted to be numb. I didn’t want to think what kind of person I was, or what I was doing to myself and my family. I was constantly hiding it.”
Tony Clark will be the executive director of the MLBPA for five more years, with an extension that means he will helm at least one more CBA negotiation.
The Dodgers signed Shelby Miller to a Major League deal.
A job listing for remote work for Sports Info Solutions as a video scout.
Alternatively, if you know the MLB rule book inside and out, the league is seeking official scorers, especially in Boston, Cincinnati, Miami, and Toronto.
White Sox manager and old friend Pedro Grifol hired Mike Tosar and Eddy Rodriguez from the Royals to round out his staff.
Love the Lakers bench celebrating with this fan who hit a halfcourt shot to win $75k:
The US Men’s National Team advanced into the knockout stage with a 1-0 win over Iran. Christian Pulisic scored the lone goal, but didn’t get to celebrate as he suffered a “pelvic contusion” in the process of scoring it.
Updates on the eruption of Mauna Loa.
Apple Music has its own version of Spotify Wrapped for your year-end music summation pleasure.
Scifi author John Scalzi musing on the ethics of AI-generated art.
At Ask a Manager, a guide for workplace icebreakers that don’t suck. What’s your least favorite icebreaker you’ve ever had to do?
If your kiddo really likes Subway sandwiches, consider this mini Subway kitchen for their toy collection. (Not an affiliated link, I am just fascinated at the idea of that level of devotion to Subway.)
Have you ever made your own taco seasoning? How do you decide whether to buy something pre-packaged versus making it from scratch?
My semi-regular reminder to think about your furnace filter. Have you changed it lately?
SOTD: Birdtalker - Tides