Andy McCullough at The Athletic has one New Year’s resolution for each team.
Kansas City Royals (65-97): Turn the page.
In firing Dayton Moore, the esteemed architect of the 2015 world champions and the steward of baseball operations in Kansas City since 2006, owner John Sherman made a move that many around the industry viewed as painful but necessary. The franchise had stagnated in the years after the title. While Sherman and his ownership group are stumping for a new downtown stadium, new head honcho J.J. Picollo, Moore’s longtime No. 2, rebuilt the coaching staff around former Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro. Just as vital will be the work done on the player-development side, as the Royals race to catch up to Cleveland, an American League Central rival who has built a pitching pipeline that permits its ownership group to contend while avoiding major forays into the free-agent market.
Craig Brown at Into the Fountains looks ahead to what 2023 will bring for the Royals.
Did Bobby Witt Jr’s debut season feel a bit…underwhelming? I think that’s a fair question. However, I don’t think that was the case. In fact, I’d argue it was a low-key success.
No, he didn’t light the league on fire like his fellow rookie Julio Rodríguez in the regular season or Jeremy Peña in the postseason. But as a 22-year-old with just 285 plate appearances in Triple-A prior to last summer, his offensive numbers (.254/.294/.428 for a 99 wRC+ with 20 HRs, 80 RBI and 30 SB) were most certainly impressive. The defense was rough at times, but showed enough sparkle to whet the appetite. Five tools? It damn sure looks like it.
Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter considers the questions the Royals still have to answer by spring training, like who is playing third base?
Mondesi could be an intriguing option, as he obviously would be able to handle the position defensively, and he provides speed and power upside at the position as well. In fact, Roster Resource is predicting that he could be the Royals’ third baseman on Opening Day. That being said, Mondesi has only played in 50 games over the past two seasons, so to expect him to play 130-140 games at the hot corner may be wishful thinking, despite his immense talent.
Will the Royals find someone via a Minor League deal who could perhaps challenge for the third base position?
If so, Brian Anderson, Harold Castro, or Matt Duffy could perhaps be candidates for such a deal and opportunity in Spring Training.
Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman warns not to write off Ryan O’Hearn just yet.
A look at the Hall of Fame case for Carlos Beltrán.
The Marlins have pursued Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas in trade talks.
Five teams with depth that could make a trade.
The Bruins and Penguins don baseball uniforms for a hockey game at Fenway Park.
Korean star Jung-hoo Lee will be posted to come stateside after this season.
Kids are playing baseball in Cameroon.
Legendary Texas Longhorns baseball coach Cliff Gustafson dies at age 91.
The College Football Playoff finally delivered on a promise of epic games.
How to develop new languages for works of fiction.
Sherlock Holmes is among the works now in the public domain.
Rolling Stone ranks the 200 greatest singers of all time.
Your song of the day is Alan Walker with Faded.