Jon Heyman has a Zack Greinke update.
The Royals were pretty close on Zack Greinke, but the price rise for starters caused a delay. The Royals still hope to have a shot.
David Lesky at Inside the Crown chimes in on the Ryan Yarbrough signing.
We all know what an issue throwing strikes in general was for the Royals last year and especially throwing a strike on the first pitch. But the other thing he does extremely well is he limits hard contact. He ranked in the 97th percentile for average exit velocity allowed and the 94th in hard-hit rate. It isn’t a one-year blip either as he’s done a great job of that throughout his career.
Some of that is likely because he also gets hitters to chase, something Royals pitching struggled with greatly in 2022. I appreciate what they’re trying to do here and my hope is that Brian Sweeney and his team can get him back to what he was a couple of years ago, but even if they can’t, it’s a small investment that won’t hurt them in the long run.
Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report looks at how some Royals pitchers may be able to improve.
In 2019, the San Francisco Giants finished the year in 24th place as a team in fWAR on their pitching staff. In the shortened 2020 season, they ranked 20th as a team with 3.8 fWAR on their pitching staff. In the offseason between 2019 and 2020, the Giants brought in former Royal Brian Bannister as their director of pitching. It took a year, partially due to COVID, but by 2021 the Giants had the 4th most fWAR of any pitching staff in baseball and in 2022 they ranked 6th. So, it is possible for a pitching staff to go from bad to good very quickly, but it takes a pretty special set of circumstances, like paying Carlos Rodon for one of those seasons.
The Royals aren’t going from the 3rd worst pitching staff in baseball to a top-10 system any time soon, but I do think there are a few reasons to be optimistic in the long run.
Former Royals outfielder Andrew Benintendi signs a five-year, $75 million deal with the White Sox.
Minnesota signs outfielder Joey Gallo to a one-year, $11 million deal.
Xander Bogaerts leaving Boston could mean the Red Sox pay Rafael Devers more.
Manny Machado is expected to opt out of his contract after next season.
The Yankees rotation has upside but questions marks remain.
The Marlins are interested in free agent outfielder Michael Conforto.
Carlos Rodon and Jacob deGrom have shown starters can have success with only two pitches.
Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com looks at each team’s greatest draft pick.
The five players that will determine the outcome of the 2022 World Cup final on Sunday.
Bio-plastics could replace plastics, but still at great environmental cost.
Your song of the day is Bruce Springsteen with Hungry Heart.