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Weekend Rumblings - News for July 1, 2023

The Aroldis Chapman era in Kansas City is over.

Kansas City Royals v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Anne Rogers gets comments from J.J. Picollo on the Aroldis Chapman trade.

“There was a lot of interest in Chapman, and Texas seemed to be the most aggressive team in pursuit of his talent,” general manager J.J. Picollo said. “We got one guy that’s pitched in the Major Leagues and who we think can be a starting pitcher in the Major Leagues, and we got one that’s in the DSL, who’s a toolsy player and our scouts and [research and development] department say has upside at 17 years old.

“We accomplished what we set out to do.”

Jaylon Thompson writes about the return that includes pitcher Cole Ragans.

“There is some risk,” Picollo said. “(But t)wo-time Tommy John is becoming more frequent than we have seen in the past. “What we have seen (from Ragans) is an uptick in velocity. He threw 134 innings last year. He is well removed from the second Tommy John (procedure), which is a great sign.”

Picollo on outfielder Roni Cabrera:

“You look at some data on a 17-year-old, the batted ball data is impressive,” Picollo said. “He’s an upside player, and it’s almost like adding someone to your Draft class, which is a couple weeks away. We got another young player that we think has some ceiling, lot of projection.”

Sam McDowell reacts to John Sherman’s comments on the progress of the ballpark proposal.

You don’t have to squint hard to see the origin of the frustration from those involved, because as Sherman’s words ring true inside Kauffman Stadium — “no one’s waiting on us” — it is not a sentiment so equally or easily shared outside the building.

In underscoring that no one is waiting on them, the Royals are implying that everyone is equipped to move forward to the next stage of the project — all the while the Royals are actually the ones temporarily stuck in limbo. But the most commonly-stated frustration of those on the other side of the proverbial table is that the Royals have not provided enough information to generate real progress.

How’s that for harmony on a $2 billion project?

Vahe Gregorian also seems a bit miffed at the lack of details.

While how they get there from here remains to be seen, that plan is what will be voted on — not this limbo in which it’s unknown what further financial assurances the Royals will seek from the city, state and county of choice.

Still, this is where we are now. And even if you’re someone like me, whose predisposition is to be intrigued by such a project understood to be for a greater good, the ongoing absence of crucial details makes it so only someone with blind faith can say they back it at this stage.

David Lesky wants the team to get younger.

But once that passes, literally everything has to be about 2024 and beyond. It’s not that it hasn’t been already, but it needs to go into overdrive. They’re the youngest offense in baseball and that’s great, but their pitching staff is seventh-oldest. A lot of that will naturally change when they move Aroldis Chapman and potentially a few others, but they need to get some starts for guys like Alec Marsh (who does go tonight in a spot start), Anthony Veneziano, Jonathan Bowlan and Angel Zerpa. Three of the four are on the 40-man roster already and Veneziano will need to be added in the off-season. I don’t care if they rotate them, go to a six-man rotation or what, but I would love to see five to seven starts for all of them.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter wonders how long the Royals will have to evaluate players.

All-Star Game starters are announced with the Rangers getting four starters.

Terry Francona is back managing the Guardians after a health scare this week.

Mookie Betts joins the Home Run Derby field.

MLB unveils All-Star uniforms for the game in Seattle.

How teams try to make the most out of freely available players.

The Astros are open to trading one of their young outfielders.

Dayn Perry at CBS Sports grades each team at the midway point.

Jay Jaffe at Fangraphs writes about the worst team defenses.

Should NFL players be allowed to gamble?

The winners and losers from the NHL Draft.

Humans may be more likely to believe disinformation generated by AI.

National Geographic lays off the last of its staff writers.

The best movie set in each state.

Your song of the day is Alan Jackson with Chattahoochee.