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Royals Rumblings - News for August 1, 2023

Welcome to the Royals, Nelson Velázquez!

Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

J.J. Picollo comments on the Royals’ acquisition of Nelson Velázquez

The Royals view Velázquez as a corner outfielder. He is expected to provide depth and could get a look with the major-league roster this season.

“We think he’s gonna profile better in either corner,” Picollo said. “He’s got an above-average arm. So naturally you want to say right field, but we’ll learn more about that as we get to know him better and see him play.”

Craig Brown at Into the Fountains likes the deal.

The thing I took away from reading various reports on Velázquez is that he put in the work to improve his game. In his first couple years in professional ball, he was a heavy pull hitter who put the ball on the ground more than in the air. He’s since developed more of an all-around approach that generates more loft. FanGraphs noted the alterations to his swing: He replaced a leg kick with a more conservative toe tap while bringing his hands forward, along with a shorter stride. Given the changes the Royals themselves have undergone in the hitting department, you like to see a kid who is willing to listen to coaching and make adjustments.

He will still pull the ball a great deal—that’s where the power is, after all—but it looks like he’s more willing to roll with a pitch and take it to the opposite field than he once was. He’s also improved his fitness to tap into that power potential.

David Lesky at Inside the Crown reacts to the Nicky Lopez trade.

Ultimately, this trade essentially has zero importance in itself. And if it stays that way, whatever, I guess. But if this is a sign of what’s to come this deadline, just don’t trade anyone. Limp to the end of the season with Barlow and Hernandez at the back of the bullpen, then replace the whole front office and start over. That’s fine at this point. Because if this is an indication of what this deadline is going to look like, these guys just aren’t it. I have very strongly believed that Picollo is different than Dayton Moore for a number of reasons. I still do. But to think this was a trade that needed to be made makes me wonder if different might even be worse.

Patrick Dubuque at Baseball Prospectus is befuddled by the deal.

In other words, he’s a perfectly serviceable utility infielder for a first-division club, and Atlanta got him for nothing. In fact, less than nothing; it’s like Alex Anthopoulos gave J.J. Picollo three nickels for two dimes, and also the nickels were wooden and sticky and somehow radioactive.

Also at Baseball Prospectus, Marc Normandin parses John Sherman’s letter.

So, we’re looking at two things here. Sherman is either actually suggesting that this will be close to a 50/50 split for the stadium, but went with the corporate-speak version of flowery language in his letter in a way that made it seem less of an open-and-shut case like that. Or, he’s actually planning on contributing less than $1 billion in private investment for the ballpark itself, and that “excess” of $1 billion is actually going to be for the entire area, where Sherman and people paid to come up with “evidence” that will make J.C. Bradbury’s head explode will keep churning out figures to “prove” that ballparks are a good investment for cities, actually—which is why sports team owners are so graciously allowing them to participate in these partnerships instead of just taking all of that money for themselves. Neither is great, really, since either way, we’re talking around $1 billion in public funds, which again: that’d be a record, and by a considerable amount.

Jacob Milham at Kings of Kauffman would like to see more Salvador Perez at first base.

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Cleveland trades pitcher Aaron Civale to the Rays for a top first base prospect.

The Mariners trade reliever Paul Sewald to the Diamondbacks for three players.

Seattle also trades outfielder A.J. Pollock to the Giants.

Milwaukee gets outfielder Mark Canha from the Mets.

The Cubs acquire third baseman Jeimer Candelario from the Nationals.

The Braves are looking for high-leverage relief help.

The Giants could trade from their starting pitching depth.

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