David Lesky at Inside the Crown considers who might get added to the 40-man roster by today’s deadline.
Devin Mann - I don’t know if I’m on an island here, but I think Mann is a big leaguer. I don’t think he’s likely a 150-game regular, but I could see a world where he plays a little first, a little second, a little third and a little outfield and gets into 95-110 games. Put him in the right spots and watch out. He didn’t really have a platoon split last season but he was outstanding against lefties the year before.
The roster construction is a bit unclear for 2024 with guys who have a tenuous hold on their spot on the team due to potential trades, but being able to spell guys like Michael Massey and MJ Melendez against tough lefties is a nice selling point. He didn’t hit for Omaha, but he has an excellent grasp of the zone (14.4 percent walk rate) and enough swing and miss to struggle to play every day. The Royals infield defense is good enough to carry a bat first utility player, in my opinion.
Jake Mailhot of Fangraphs gives his early power rankings, with the Royals at #26.
Getting Vinnie Pasquantino back healthy and a full season of Cole Ragans should benefit the Royals greatly, giving them more top-end talent to pair alongside Bobby Witt Jr. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much help coming through their minor league system. That means they’ll need to look outside their organization for improvements, but they haven’t shown an appetite for investing resources into free agents. That trio of Pasquantino, Ragans and Witt looks solid, but Kansas City is in danger of wasting the prime years of those three if it can’t bring in support for them.
The Athletic writes about what each team is looking to accomplish this off-season.
The Royals have entered a second phase of their post-2015 rebuild, as a flurry of their top prospects reached the majors in 2023. Bobby Witt Jr. looked like a star in the second half, posting a .906 OPS while finishing the season with 30 homers. The midseason acquisition of pitcher Cole Ragans provided ballast to the starting rotation.
But there are still significant questions about the players Kansas City intended to build around, like first baseman Nick Pratto (82 OPS+), outfielder MJ Melendez (95 OPS+) and third baseman Maikel Garcia (88 OPS+). Brady Singer took a major step backward in 2023 — and he was the best arm to come out of the team’s vaunted 2018 draft class. It’s a work in progress, emphasis on the work
Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter considers what the return of Taylor Clarke means for the bullpen.
Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman wants a reunion with Danny Duffy.
The Rangers will begin their title defense next year against the Cubs on Opening Night.
The Brewers will promote Pat Murphy to be their new manager.
Gunnar Henderson and Corbin Carroll are each unanimous Rookie of the Year selections.
Where could Cody Bellinger land in free agency?
Shohei Ohtani may not be concerned about geography for his next team.
Did Brian Cashman take a veiled shot at slugger Giancarlo Stanton?
Former Royals infielder Ryan Goins joins the Angels coaching staff.
The uncertainty over Diamond Sports and their sports networks is threatening the off-season for some teams.
The Rays have had preliminary talks that could lead to a Tyler Glasnow trade.
Despite rule changes, pitchers are getting tougher to hit.
The LG Twins defeat the KT Wiz to win their first Korean title in 29 years.
Texas rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has entered the MVP conversation.
The bottom of the Premier League table is looking rough.
The new Super Mario Bros. Wonder game recaptures the feelings you had as a youth.
A new book details how bad it was to actually film the Star Wars Holiday Special.
Your song of the day is Soup Dragons with Pleasure.