Anne Rogers writes about the return of Zack Greinke.
“We’re really happy to announce Zack’s signing,” general manager J.J. Picollo said. “I think it’s something we all knew was coming and were hopeful about, going back to the end of the season last year. We had a really good conversation with Zack, he was very clear about how much he liked Kansas City and that he wanted to come back. Along the way, we had some changes with our staff. There were some things to work out.
“We’re just happy he’s back, we know how much he means to this organization and city. And it’s been fun to have him around. He’s been great for our young pitchers, great for the organization, I know our fans appreciate who he is and what he represents and that he’s still a Royal.”
Will this be his last year?
“It might be. It might not be,” Greinke said. “I don’t have a plan at the moment, like a definite plan for it. If I pitch good, feel good, most likely I’ll keep playing.”
“I enjoyed last season, probably the most fun I had in a while,” Greinke said. “Even though we didn’t win a lot of games, the team was a lot of fun to play with. A lot of reasons to keep playing.”
Retirement was never really option.
“The family likes me playing, I like playing,” he said. “I feel like I’m still solid. I’ll keep trying it.”
J.J. Picollo says it’s getting to a point “where things are settled” in terms of the roster. While the Royals are still looking at non-roster invites to spring, other moves would be more reactionary to things coming their way.— Sam McDowell (@SamMcDowell11) February 3, 2023
David Lesky at Inside the Crown looks at the defensive issues.
On the infield, I can tell you unequivocally that the Royals know they need to get better. Vinnie Pasquantino is not Nick Pratto at first, but he’s not bad, though he was at -2 DRS. Where the concern comes from the Royals is the rest of the infield. I think the lack of playing in short right field will help Michael Massey at second quite a bit, but the Royals still are a bit concerned. He won a minor league Gold Glove at second, but I think they’re just a bit worried that he’s slightly below average. The left side, though, is where the questions are going to really come. Was Bobby Witt Jr.’s debut at shortstop an outlier or will he have to move? The team loves Maikel Garcia, who is a plus shortstop. Does it make sense to just start him at shortstop and move Witt to third, especially with the third baseman likely to be Hunter Dozier?
Kiley McDaniel at ESPN ranks the Royals farm system at #28.
Long-time GM Dayton Moore was fired recently, which says, very clearly, that things weren’t going well. The Royals are among the bottom half-dozen or so in the majors right now and the farm system is more a group of solid players than future stars. The good news is last year’s group of graduated prospects — Bobby Witt Jr., Vinnie Pasquantino, M.J. Melendez, Nick Pratto, Michael Massey, Kyle Isbel — give Kansas City the infusion of young hitters that was needed to complement a group of young pitching that had already arrived. Now, the Royals need all of the youngsters to mesh and improve while universally raising the talent level to keep this thing moving in the right direction.
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