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Weekend Rumblings - News for December 2, 2023

Who wants to tear down Kauffman Stadium?

MLB: JUL 08 Royals Summer Camp Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Anne Rogers previews the Winter Meetings by highlighting Royals’ priorities.

The priority for the Royals is starting pitching, and they are willing to trade for a controllable starter or commit dollars in free agency for one. They’re looking for not only a pitcher who can give them innings, but also a No. 1 or No. 2 who can help solidify the rotation.

The Royals seem less likely to spend big free-agent money on a reliever, but rather to find smaller pieces like they did with Nick Anderson, who has some risk because of injury and age but has a track record and the tools to be a weapon.

David Lesky at Inside the Crown reacts to the Garrett Hampson signing.

But the fit still doesn’t quite make sense. They already have Nick Loftin as a right-handed counterpart. He’s played second and center, though I think Hampson is more of a center fielder than Loftin. They also already have Drew Waters, who is a switch hitter, but he’s struggled against lefties. My friend Alec Duvall, who used to run Royals Farm Report, posited on Twitter that there must be a trade close. I’ve heard there’s interest in both Loftin and Garcia from at least 10 teams. A deal for Garcia would be much bigger than a deal for Loftin, but if either can bring in a spot more in need, I’m fine with bringing in a new utility player on a cheap deal to help round out the roster.

Sam McDowell writes about stadium talks between the teams and Jackson County.

But in my discussions with an array of politicos, it’s evident to many that White does not believe the current lease agreement benefits Jackson County, which funds and manages the facilities but does not receive direct revenue from the stadiums. The deal is more complicated than the tax — for example, no one has raised a hand to pay for demolition of Kauffman Stadium if the Royals move, an expense that would total tens of millions of dollars.

Jackson County is apparently not outright opposed to seeing some money directed toward the construction or renovation of sports stadiums. In October, the county offered the Royals a sum of $300 million over 20 years, in annual increments of $15 million.

White is positioned at the center of this saga as the county executive who just so happens to be a member of the Royals Hall of Fame. But his lack of eagerness to extend the status quo is not an isolated view within the county, sources said. He has at least some support from the legislature, though there are varying opinions about the reach and depth of that support.

The Royals will hold their “Royals Rally” on February 3 at Kauffman Stadium.

The George Brett MLB Network documentary is less than a week away.

The Yankees claim post-season hero Oscar Gonzalez off waivers from the Guardians.

Shohei Ohtani is voted the top DH in baseball for the third straight year.

What does Blake Snell’s market look like?

The Orioles have been in contact with free agent reliever Josh Hader.

Free agent catcher Martin Maldonado is drawing interest from several teams.

Shane Bieber is open to signing an extension if he gets traded.

Momentum has stalled on a Juan Soto/Yankee trade.

Jay Jaffe looks at the Hall of Fame case for Joe Mauer.

The Marlins hire Gabe Kapler for their front office.

The forgotten schools of conference realignment.

Should the “Athletics” team name stay in Oakland?

Joe Flacco, who was sitting at home a few weeks ago, will start for the Browns at age 38.

Studies show there’s not a clear link between phone usage and youth depression.

Dead musicians may not stay dead now that we have AI.

Scientists want to use the sun’s gravity to communicate between stars.

Your song of the day is Jimi Hendrix with Bold as Love.