Anne Rogers does a mailbag column, and writes about what the Royals might do this off-season, like upgrading the rotation.
The Royals do have several internal candidates to fill those two spots, but it appears Picollo doesn’t want to completely count on them. For example, the Royals can’t assume that Daniel Lynch IV or Kris Bubic will bounce back from their injuries, or that rookie Alec Marsh will take a huge leap forward in his second season. It’s always better to have depth, and that’s something the Royals didn’t have this year. So expect Kansas City to acquire pitching, both starting and relieving, externally this winter.
Picollo also stated a desire to bring in an impact bat, likely in the outfield, but there aren’t a ton of options there this winter. Diving into the trade market, which the Royals have been willing to do, seems more likely.
Assistant GM Jin Wong leaves the Royals after 24 years with the team.
Wong has been with Kansas City for 24 years and just finished his second season as the vice president of baseball administration. Over his tenure, he’s mainly dealt with the club’s financial obligations, including negotiating contracts, roster and payroll management, salary arbitration and the club’s budget, along with day-to-day operations of the Major League club.
He has had a major role in the negotiations of multi-year player contracts for the Royals, including Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, Danny Duffy and most recently Salvador Perez, who signed a four-year extension for a franchise-record $82 million in 2021.
David Lesky at Inside the Crown writes about arbitration-eligible players that might be a good fit for the Royals.
Mitch Keller ($6 million)
The Pirates were rumored to be talking extension with Keller before and during last season, but it never got done. I imagine they’ll continue talking, but I don’t think I’d be surprised if he gets moved if he’s not interested in anything. He was a disaster just a couple of years ago, but has been solid the last two seasons. He’s not elite or anything, but he’s a piece that improves any rotation at this point. Like Blackburn, he needs to move away from the cutter. The four-seamer is really good and he only threw it 26.1 percent of the time with the cutter thrown 24.2 percent. Cut that in half and add it to the four-seamer and he’s a better pitcher immediately. He has two years left before free agency, and the Pirates could use some bats. I think there could be a match here.
MLB Pipeline writes about one standout prospect stat from each team.
Royals: 3.3 swinging-strike rate
Javier Vaz, 2B/OF (No. 13)In this age of higher strikeout numbers, finding a player who thrives on making contact is increasingly rare, making the 2022 15th-rounder’s breakout an even bigger breath of fresh air. Vaz whiffed on only 3.3 percent of the pitches he saw between High-A and Double-A this season, leading to a swinging-strike rate that ranked third among all full-season qualifiers. As a result of that and his plus speed, the Vanderbilt product hit .279 with a .373 OBP while only striking out 50 times across 119 games.
Ketel Marte’s walk-off single wins Game 3 for the Diamondbacks.
MLB Pipeline lists their All-Rookie first and second teams.
Former Royals outfielder Lou Piniella is among the candidates for the Hall of Fame as selected by the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee.
What does the managerial carousel look like?
Bryce Harper wants to play in the 2028 Olympics.
The Dominican winter league began play yesterday.
Why is there a gap between ERA and FIP in the playoffs?
The Red Sox are having advanced talks with Craig Breslow to be their next GM.
Eno Sarris looks at whether the clutch gene in the post-season exists.
Michael Fulmer will likely miss all of next year after surgery.
The Wisconsin Assembly approves $546 million to improve the home of the Brewers.
The Korean Baseball Organization will use an automated ball-strike system next year.
Patrick Mahomes is the backup punter for the Chiefs.
Does Star Wars need a re-boot?
Your song of the day is The Boy Least Likely To with Be Gentle With Me.