Anne Rogers writes about which free agent starting pitchers the Royals could be targeting, like Seth Lugo.
Lugo, who was on this list last year when I put together candidates for the Royals, proved he can still start during his one year in San Diego following several years in the Mets’ bullpen. Lugo made $7.5 million in 2023 and opted out of a deal that would have paid him the same in ‘24, but he likely earned himself a multiyear deal with his strong season. He’s got a mix that can generally keep the ball in the ballpark and his trademark curveball generates a lot of whiffs. Lugo throws strikes, and the Royals need that.
David Lesky at Inside the Crown writes about the progress in pitching development in the organization.
The results were mixed in 2023, but there was a lot of good. We saw strikeouts come back to the system after there were very few of them in previous years. Guys like David Sandlin, Mason Barnett, Noah Cameron, Alec Marsh, Anthony Veneziano and others saw their way to climbing the ladder. John McMillon became a relief monster who we saw briefly in the big leagues. While the system isn’t lauded just yet, people I speak with have said it’s head and shoulders different than it was just a year ago at this time. There’s actual hope from people who don’t have a dog in the fight.
Sportsnaut lists one transaction each team should make this off-season.
Extend Bobby Witt Jr. through this decade
Reasoning: This is a bad team. It will probably be a bad team for a while. It has a tremendous bright spot, however, in Witt, who hit 30 homers and stole 49 bases in 2023. Only 23, Witt can be a free agent after the 2027 season at age 27. If he continues his ascent, he’ll be in ridiculously high demand by then, meaning he’ll price himself out of the Royals’ future. So, they should make sure that doesn’t happen by breaking a small bank now and locking him up into his 30s.
The White Sox trade for Nicky Lopez in a six-player deal with the Braves.
The Brewers acquire Jake Bauers from the Yankees.
The Mariners acquire Luis Urias from the Red Sox for Kansas City native Isaiah Campbell.
Cleveland trades pitcher Cal Quantrill to Colorado.
MLB cancels games scheduled for Paris in 2025 due to the lack of a promoter.
The history of MVPs who changed teams, like Shohei Ohtani may do.
The Blue Jays are reportedly looking to do something big, like land Ohtani.
White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez is drawing trade interest.
The window to negotiate with Japanese free agent Yoshinobu Yamamoto will begin Tuesday.
The long, sad story of the stealing of the Oakland Athletics.
Michael Baumann at Fangraphs writes about a proposal to shorten the pitch clock with runners on base.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is out for the year.
LSU women’s basketball is struggling in their championship defense.
Apple is adopting Google’s texting standard, so will the green text bubble disappear?
Guy Fieri will host a two-day Flavortown Festival in Columbus, Ohio.
Sam Altman is fired as the CEO of OpenAI.
Your song of the day is Daryl Hall & John Oates with I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do).