Tag Archives: Kansas City Royals

Season Preview: AL Central


With Spring Training well under way and the first games already in the books, I figured it was a good time to take a look at my own predictions for the league, and the changes the respective teams have made. Today’s group is the American League Central.

Last Year’s Records
Minnesota – 94-68
Chicago – 88-74
Detroit – 81-81
Cleveland – 69-93
Kansas City – 67-95

Notable Additions

Chicago – Adam Dunn, Lastings Milledge

Cleveland – Orlando Cabrera

Detroit – Victor Martinez, Brad Penny, Joaquin Benoit

Kansas City – Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jeff Francoeur, Melky Cabrera, Vin Mazzaro

Minnesota – Tsuyoshi Nishioka

Notable Losses

Chicago – Andruw Jones, Manny Ramirez, Freddy Garcia, J.J. Putz, Bobby Jenks, Scott Linebrink

Cleveland – NONE

Detroit – Johnny Damon, Jeremy Bonderman, Gerald Laird, Armando Galarraga

Kansas City – Zack Greinke, David DeJesus, Brian Bannister, Gil Meche

Minnesota – J.J. Hardy, Orlando Hudson, Brendan Harris, Jon Rauch, Brian Fuentes

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Who are the Faces of their Franchise? AL Central Edition


Next up in my look at each organization’s Face of the Franchise is the AL Central…

  • White Sox – I think that at this point it has to either be Paul Konerko or Mark Buehrle. Both players have been with the team a long time, and both are known for being with the team as well. Buehrle may have gotten himself into a little bit of hot water earlier in the week regarding his comments about Michael Vick, but I think either would fit this title. Continue reading

Prospect Review – Will Myers


The first prospect up for review this season is Wil Myers of the Kansas City Royals.

The Basics
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
How Acquired: Drafted out of High School by the Royals in the 2009 draft (3rd Rd)
Age as of 4/1/11: 20

Scouting Reports and 2010 Statistics
The Baseball Cube
MLB.COM Top 50 Prospect Report

Team           Lg  G  AB  R  H HR RBI SB BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG
Burlington   MIDW 68 242 42 70 10  45 10 48 55 .289 .408 .500
Wilmington   CARL 58 205 28 71  4  38  2 37 39 .346 .453 .512

Prospect Ranks
Hardball Times: #4 (KCR – 2011)
Deep Leagues: #2 (Catcher – 2011)
Project Prospect: #8 (Overall – 2011), #2 (Catcher – 2011)
Bullpen Banter: #1 (Catcher – 2010)
Baseball America: #2 (KCR – 2011)
John Sickels: #3 (KCR – 2011)
Baseball Prospectus: #4 (KCR – 2011)
Scouting Book: #3 (Catcher – 2011)
Top Prospect Alert: #3 (KCR – 2011)

Analysis

Myers was drafted out of high school by the Royals, but appeared to fall farther in the draft than was anticipated. Prior to the draft, Keith Law thought he would go at #12 to the Royals in his final mock draft, Lincoln Hamilton at Project Prospect thought he might go as high as #4, and ranked him as his 24th best prospect in the draft on the day of the draft. Even MyMLBDraft.Com had him at #30 overall. Clearly, it appears no one saw him lasting all the way to #91 overall.  It appears that he fell in the draft due to signability concerns, but the only place I really found mention of that was this post by Project Prospect. Interestingly, he did spend the majority of the summer with the Royals’ affiliate in the Appalachian League, working out but still unsigned.

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Trade Review – Zack Greinke to the Brewers


After all of the posturing that was coming out about what the Royals were looking for in return for 2009 Cy Young winner Zack Greinke, it appears that a trade came together pretty quickly. Jim Breen over at Bernie’s Crew broke the story last evening, and the trade that appears to have been finalized was Greinke, Yuniesky Betancourt, and $2 M going to the Brewers in exchange for SS Alcides Escobar, OF Lorenzo Cain, SP Jake Odorizzi, and SP Jeremy Jeffress.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers have really improved their starting pitching with both the acquisition of Shaun Marcum and now Zack Greinke. Their rotation now consists of Greinke, Yovani Gallardo, Marcum, Randy Wolf, and Chris Narveson most likely, which could well be the top starting rotation in the NL Central, and probably 3rd in the NL behind the Phillies and the Giants.

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Free Agent Review – Cliff Lee to the Phillies


Wow. That’s pretty much all I can say.

With the news overnight that there may have been as much as $50 million left on the table by one Clifton Phifer Lee, it has been a complete shock to see that Cliff Lee has agreed to sign with the Phillies. The terms appear to be for 5 years, $115 million dollars, with an option for a 6th year that might be reasonably achievable.

From the Phillies Perspective

Honestly, I’m not sure I understand this entirely. Clearly, Lee is more than $10 M better than Joe Blanton ($20M salary for Lee, $10.5M for Blanton), but this seems a bit excessive. Adding Lee now brings them a 4th ace to go with Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt for next season. The part that could really kill the Phillies long term is the amount of money they have tied up. The Phillies will most likely have the highest payroll of any team not playing in the Bronx next year, and have a ton of money committed to their roster already for 2012, 2013, and 2014.

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Season Previews in Review: American League Central


Back during Spring Training, I took a look at each team and made predictions about how each team would do and how I thought their season would go. This was the first year doing this, and I figured now was a good time to take a look back and see how it went. I reviewed the AL East previously, and now it’s on to the AL Central.

Chicago White Sox

Predicted Record: 84-78            Actual Record: 88-74

This team’s record ended up slightly better than I thought it would, but actually finished in the same spot in the standings I believed that they would. They got solid pitching as usual, but not as much from Jake Peavy once he suffered a season ending injury. The move to second base for Gordon Beckham seemed to cause him some serious struggles throughout most of the season, and he didn’t seem to get his bat back until after the All-Star break.

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Trade Deadline Review


Well, we are now officially one day past the non-waiver trade deadline, and there have been quite a few different trades made. It was definitely one of the more active periods in a lot of years. I wrote up the major trades as they happened, and you can read my thoughts with the links below.

Major Trades

Texas Rangers acquire SP Cliff Lee and P Mark Lowe from the Seattle Mariners for 1B Justin Smoak and 3 minor leaguers
Los Angeles Angels acquire SP Dan Haren from the Arizona Diamondbacks for SP Joe Saunders and 3 minor leaguers
Philadelphia Phillies acquire SP
Roy Oswalt from the Houston Astros for SP J.A. Happ and 2 minor leaguers

Semi-Major Deals

1. New York Yankees acquire RP Kerry Wood from the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later or cash
2. New York Yankees acquire 1B Lance Berkman from the Houston Astros for P Mark Melancon and Jimmy Paredes
3. Los Angeles Dodgers acquire SP Ted Lilly and IF Ryan Theriot from the Chicago Cubs for IF Blake DeWitt, minor league P Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit
4. St. Louis Cardinals acquire SP Jake Westbrook from the Cleveland Indians and minor leaguer Nick Greenwood from the San Diego Padres, San Diego Padres acquire OF Ryan Ludwick from the St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians acquire minor leaguer Corey Kluber from the San Diego Padres
5. Pittsburgh Pirates acquire C Chris Snyder and OF Pedro Ciriaco from the Arizona Diamondbacks for P D.J. Carrasco, IF Bobby Crosby, and OF Ryan Church
6. Chicago White Sox acquire SP Edwin Jackson from the Arizona Diamondbacks for SP Daniel Hudson and P David Holmberg
7. Minnesota Twins acquire RP Matt Capps from the Washington Nationals for C Wilson Ramos and minor league P Joe Testa
8. Texas Rangers acquire IF Jorge Cantu from the Florida Marlins for minor leaguer pitchers Evan Reed and Omar Poveda
9. Los Angeles Dodgers acquire OF Scott Podsednik from the Kansas City Royals for minor leaguers C Lucas May and P Elisaul Pimentel
10. Los Angeles Angels acquire 3B Alberto Callaspo from the Kansas City Royals for P Sean O’Sullivan and P Will Smith
11. Toronto Blue Jays acquire SS Yunel Escobar and P Jo-Jo Reyes from the Atlanta Braves for SS Alex Gonzalez and minor leaguers Tyler Pastornicky and Tim Collins
12. Los Angeles Dodgers acquire RP Octavio Dotel from the Pittsburgh Pirates for OF Andrew Lambo and P James McDonald

Minor Moves

1. Texas Rangers acquire IF Cristian Guzman from the Washington Nationals for minor leaguers Ryan Tatsuko and Tanner Roark
2. Texas Rangers acquire C Bengie Molina from the San Francisco Giants for P Chris Ray
3. Toronto Blue Jays acquire 1B Mike Jacobs from the New York Mets for a player to be named later
4. San Diego Padres acquire IF Miguel Tejada from the Baltimore Orioles for minor league P Wynn Pelzer
5. Tampa Bay Rays acquire RP Chad Qualls from the Arizona Diamondbacks for a player to be named later
6. New York Yankees acquire OF Austin Kearns from the Cleveland Indians for ?
7. Detroit Tigers acquire IF Jhonny Peralta from the Cleveland Indians for minor league P Giovanny Soto
8. San Francisco Giants acquire P Javier Lopez from the Pittsburgh Pirates for P Joe Martinez and OF John Bowker
9. Atlanta Braves acquire IF Wilkin Ramirez from the Detroit Tigers for cash or a player to be named later
10. Florida Marlins acquire RP Will Ohman from the Baltimore Orioles for P Rick VandenHurk
11. San Francisco Giants acquire RP Ramon Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox for P Daniel Turpen
12. Atlanta Braves acquire OF Rick Ankiel and RP Kyle Farnsworth from the Kansas City Royals for P Jesse Chavez, OF Gregor Blanco, and minor league P Tim Collins
13. Boston Red Sox acquire C Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the Texas Rangers for 1B Chris McGuiness, P Ramon Mendez and a player to be named later or cash

Wow. There’s still stuff coming in as I write this, and in the last hour there have been a lot of these to get done. So who did well here and who didn’t?

Winners

The Yankees – Let’s see if we have this right. The Yankees picked up Lance Berkman to be their designated hitter. They added Kerry Wood to help solidify the back end of the bullpen behind Mariano Rivera. And they got both of them for a pair of players that are of no use to the Yankees, and even got some money in the deals? Really? They already have the best record in the Majors, and have decidedly improved their team with both acquisitions. Oh, and they added to their bench depth with Austin Kearns as well.

The Rangers – With a decent lead in the AL West, the Rangers went out and got themselves an ace starter (Lee), a solid catcher who can help them play defense at the position (Molina), a run producing right handed bat who can play two positions (Cantu), a backup infielder who will be able to spell their third baseman and shortstop, and fill in while their second baseman is on the disabled list (Guzman),  and moved a player that they had soured on for some prospects. They are the prohibitive favorite in the AL West at this point, now being 8 games ahead of the 2nd place Angels and 8.5 of the 3rd place Athletics. They plugged nearly every gap they had in their team, and will go into the pennant chase with a very good chance of being in the World Series at the end of it.

The Angels – Even though the moves may end up being more for next season, acquiring Dan Haren to give them a very good 1-2 punch in their rotation for “some magic beans” as Matthew Berry put it on the Fantasy Focus podcast was a stroke of genius. Callaspo also gives them a solid hitter to play at 3B which they had sorely been missing. While it may not be enough to catch the Rangers, they gave up very little of value to do both trades.

The Pirates – They took D.J. Carrasco, Bobby Crosby, Javier Lopez, Octavio Dotel, and Ryan Church and turned them into a major league backstop (Snyder), two solid potential major leaguers (Bowker and Martinez), and 2 higher end, albeit risky prospects (Lambo, McDonald). Someone must have put something in Neal Huntington’s coffee that helped out a lot. They did extremely well to turn a lot of random pieces that aren’t really that helpful into all that.

The Royals – Pieces that aren’t for the future: Podsednik, Ankiel, Farnsworth, Callaspo. All moved for players with varying levels of upside who can help with the rebuilding process: Lucas May, Tim Collins, Jesse Chavez, Gregor Blanco, Sean O’Sullivan, Will Smith. Not the most amazing group of players, and definitely no high-end prospects here. But the Royals have a lot of high-end prospects already, and need others to help give them some balance as well with regard to position scarcity and depth overall. Very well done today.

The Padres – They gave up a pair of pitching prospects to acquire a much needed outfield bat, and a utility player who should provide some value over the remainder of the season. Nothing too major here, and definitely nothing that mortgages the future. I like the Ludwick acquisition, as he could see an improvement with a change of scenery. I’m not 100% sold on the Tejada acquisition, but they didn’t really give up that much to get him in my opinion.

Losers

The Nationals – The trade of Matt Capps was nice, netting them a very good catching prospect in Wilson Ramos. But the way that they handled Adam Dunn leading up to the trade deadline was inexcusable. They clearly had not made up their mind as to what they wanted to do with him, and in the end they simply ran out of time. They clearly could have gotten more for him had they moved him instead of waiting for his free agency to play out, and the only reason to do that would have been to get him signed to an extension (which they didn’t do either). Not sure what happened here, but we’ll see if this was a really bad plan from the start.

The Dodgers – In a division where they are 7.5 games back of the leader and 5 games back of the wild card leader, the Dodgers decided to go for it, sending prospects Brett Wallach, Kyle Smit, Lucas May, Elisaul PimentelAndrew Lambo, and James McDonald (along with Blake DeWitt) to other teams to acquire: the remainder of this season from Octavio Dotel, Ted Lilly and Scott Podsednik, and also Ryan Theriot. I’m pretty sure that if they had offered those players to the Diamondbacks they would have been able to get Dan Haren, Kelly Johnson, and a bullpen arm. I’m also pretty convinced that they could have offered that group to the Mariners and gotten Cliff Lee, Jose Lopez and possibly David Aardsma. I’m not at all impressed with what they did here, and are only one bad week from being completely out of the race.

The Orioles – It’s a tough beat, but they were only able to move Will Ohman and Miguel Tejada, and would have been served by moving Ty Wigginton and Kevin Millwood, among others. Unfortunately, neither player has been playing well of late, and had essentially managed to knock their own values down to next to nothing.

The Twins – They needed some help in the bullpen, and really could have used another starting pitcher behind Francisco Liriano and Carl Pavano. Unfortunately, they only filled one of those gaps, and at a cost that seems high even considering that the prospect that they gave up had no place to play in the Twins’ future.

Mixed Bag

The Astros – They were able to get out from under a lot of the big dollar contracts owed to Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman, and got back at least a reasonable return. Brett Wallace will slot in at 1B to replace Berkman, and J.A. Happ will fill Oswalt’s slot in the rotation. But time will tell if they get anything other than salary relief for Berkman, and Happ and Wallace will have to be very good to replace the value of Oswalt in my opinion.

The Phillies – They gave up a lot more to get Oswalt than they got back in return for Cliff Lee, who would have played a similar role for the Phillies this season had he not been traded. Oswalt will need to be the piece that moves them over the top for this one to really be a winner for them.

The Diamondbacks – They acquired a pretty good young pitcher in return for Edwin Jackson (Hudson). But they practically gave away Dan Haren, a better pitcher who was not that much more expensive than Jackson. They got back a bunch of garbage essentially for their second catcher Snyder. Crosby is a free agent after the season, and Church and Carrasco are both likely candidates for a non-tender after the season. They also did not move Kelly Johnson and Adam LaRoche, both of whom had a lot of value built up despite poor performance of late. Some of the players they acquired could turn out to be good, but it remains to be seen.

The White Sox – They really could have used a bat, and it sounds like they were trying to get one by acquiring Edwin Jackson. I honestly can’t remember the last time I heard about a player being acquired with the hope of moving him to another team, only to have that other team tell them it wasn’t enough. Jackson is a nice pitcher, but is not that much better than Hudson should be.

Overall, a very exciting trade deadline, and there is still the possibility that we will see a lot more trades before the waiver deadline of August 31st.

Trade Retrospective: Carlos Beltran


Next up on the trade retrospectives is the trade of Carlos Beltran on June 24, 2004. He was a part of a 3-way trade from the Royals, with the Astros receiving Beltran, the Royals receiving C John Buck, IF Mark Teahen, and P Mike Wood, and the Athletics receiving RP Octavio Dotel.

The Background

The Royals started out the 2004 season off to a slow start, which wasn’t entirely unexpected. Knowing that 5-tool outfielder Carlos Beltran would be a free agent at the end of the season, it became extremely clear that the Royals were very likely to trade him so that they would receive something in return for the free-agent-to-be.

The Astros were in the heat of a pennant race, and had spent a lot of money in the previous offseasons on high level acquisitions including Roger Clemens. They were 38-34, and only 5 games back of the first place Cardinals.

The Athletics were 40-31, only a single game back of the first place Angels, and well in the race for a playoff spot. They had been using Arthur Rhodes in the closer’s role but not particularly effectively, and needed some improvement at the back end of the bullpen.

The Moving Pieces

Carlos Beltran slotted into the Astros’ lineup in center field and in the heart of the order. The Astros added another excellent bat in their lineup with Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman, and Jeff Kent already providing excellent production.

The Athletics slotted Dotel into as the closer, and moved everyone else back in the bullpen, with former closer Arthur Rhodes slotting in as the 8th inning guy.

John Buck was slotted in as the starting catcher for the Royals the next day. Mark Teahen was sent to AAA Omaha, and spent the remainder of the 2004 season there. Mike Wood was called up by the Royals and spent the remainder of the 2004 season in their rotation.

What Happened Next

Beltran had an excellent rest of the season, hitting .258/.368/.559. He helped to carry the Astros to the playoffs, with them qualifying for the wild card. His better performance actually came in the playoffs, as he hit .455/.500/1.091 with 4 HR, 9 RBI and 2 SB in the series victory over Atlanta. While they didn’t win their next series against the Cardinals, it wasn’t really anything related to Beltran’s performance, as he hit .417/.563/.958 with another 4 HR, 5 RBI and 4 stolen bases.

Octavio Dotel came in to Oakland slotted as the closer, and made 45 appearances. He posted a 4.09 ERA, a 6-2 record, and 22 saves. He also recorded 72 strikeouts in just 50 innings with the A’s, although was somewhat prone to homeruns, as he gave up 9 in that time.

John Buck hit .235/.280/.424 in 71 games, with 12 homeruns and 30 rbi. Mike Wood went 3-8 with a 5.94 ERA in 100 innings for the Royals, and was also prone to homeruns a bit, giving up 16 in that time frame.

The Net Moves

Houston – First Level

Carlos Beltran became a free agent at the end of the season, and was signed by the New York Mets. As a result of this, the Astros received two compensation picks from the Mets. They used these selections to take OF Eli Iorg (1st round supplemental) and SS Tommy Manzella (3rd round)

Oakland – First Level

Octavio Dotel pitched the remainder of the 2004 season, and the entire 2005 season with the Athletics, and became a free agent after the 2005 season. Unfortunately, he did not return any compensation picks for signing with the Yankees.

Kansas City – First Level

  • John Buck played for the Royals from the 2004 season through the end of the 2009 season, when he was non-tendered. He hit for some solid power for a catcher, hitting 18 in 2007. However, the batting average never really came along with it, and never hit for an average higher than .247 with them.
  • Mike Wood pitched for the Royals from the 2004 season through the 2006 season. Over that time, he posted an 11-19 record with a 5.28 ERA in 87 appearances (34 starts). He was waived by the Royals after the 2006 season, and claimed by the Rangers.
  • Mark Teahen spent the rest of 2004 at AAA, but was called up early in the 2005 season. He played for the Royals from 2005-2009, moving all over the field. 2006 was his best season with the Royals, as he hit .290/.357/.517 with 18 HR, 69 RBI and 10 stolen bases. During this previous offseason, he was traded to the White Sox for infielders Chris Getz and Josh Fields.

Houston – Second Level

  • Eli Iorg spent parts of the 2005-2009 seasons in the minors with the Astros, leading to his release in July of 2009. He appears to be out of baseball.
  • Tommy Manzella is now the starting shortstop for the Astros, although that only became fact at the start of this season.

Kansas City – Second Level

Chris Getz and Josh Fields are both currently on the major league roster, although Getz is on the disabled list. Both players appear to be hoping for a fresh start in Kansas City, as they were unlikely to break into the lineup in Chicago.

Overall Reactions

This trade was rather unusual, in that I am not 100% sold it worked out well for anyone. The Astros received an excellent half season of Beltran, but knew going into the trade that they were unlikely to resign him. As a result, the draft picks that they received as compensation had to calculate into the value received from him. And to this point, those have been a complete disaster. For the A’s, Dotel wasn’t quite enough to get over that last hump to get into the playoffs, and it is highly possible that he may have actually cost them some victories. I can distinctly remember feeling particularly un-confident in his ability to shut the door on the game when it was going on. The Royals probably made out the best on this, although I imagine that they had been hoping for a better return than the one that they got. Buck and Wood were essentially filler pieces based on their performance, but Teahen turned into a solid everyday player. It remains to be seen whether Chris Getz or Josh Fields will help them get return for him.

Team Preview – Kansas City Royals


Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C Jason Kendall SP 1 Zack Greinke
1B Billy Butler SP 2 Gil Meche
2B Alberto Callaspo SP 3 Brian Bannister
3B Alex Gordon SP 4 Luke Hochevar
SS Yuniesky Betancourt SP 5 Kyle Davies
LF Scott Podsednik Bullpen
CF Rick Ankiel CL Joakim Soria
RF David Dejesus RP Juan Cruz
DH Jose Guillen RP Robinson Tejeda
Bench RP Kyle Farnsworth
IF Chris Getz RP Roman Colon
IF Josh Fields

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
CF Rick Ankiel Free Agency RF Mark Teahen Trade (CHW)
LF Scott Podsednik Free Agency 1B Mike Jacobs Free Agency
2B Chris Getz Trade (CHW) C John Buck Free Agency
3B Josh Fields Trade (CHW) CF Coco Crisp Free Agency
C Jason Kendall Free Agency C Miguel Olivo Free Agency

Top Prospects: Mike Moustakas (3B), Eric Hosmer (1B), Aaron Crow (P), Mike Montgomery (P), Wil Myers (C)

2009 Review

The Royals were not really expected to compete in 2009, and they pretty much performed to those expectations. They finished the season at 65-97, good for a 4th place tie in teh AL Central. But they definitely had some bright spots. C Miguel Olivo posted a career high 23 HR to lead the team. 1B Billy Butler had an excellent season at the plate, posting a .301 average with 21 HR and 93 RBI. Easily the best performance by a Royal came from SP Zack Greinke, the AL Cy Young award winner. Greinke put it all together in 2009, posting a 16-8 record with a 2.16 ERA and 242 strikeouts. Unfortunately, the only other pitcher on the staff that performed remotely well was closer Joakim Soria, who saved 30 games and posted a 2.21 ERA.

Team Outlook for 2010

The Royals came into the offseason with a lot of holes to plug (C, CF, LF), and did well to get some high-upside players for a couple of those positions. I liked the signing of Ankiel and Podsednik, as they are both low-risk, high-upside signings. If they don’t work out, they only spent about $5 M on the two players, and are only committed to them for the 2010 season. The most confusing move that they made was the signing of Jason Kendall. Kendall is a good catcher for a young pitching staff, and that part makes sense to me. It’s a good thing, in fact, because he’s highly unlikely to provide any offense at all. That’s essentially a black hole for offense. And this is on a team that has very little offense to speak of.

The team is hoping that the starting rotation will improve this season, and will also be giving reliever Kyle Farnsworth an opportunity to try to start in spring training. After Greinke, they have a lot of pitchers that should improve, but I’m not sure how much. Meche is probably very similar to what he performed like last year. Hochevar remains a mixed bag, with a lot of potential, but hasn’t really seen it show up yet. Bannister and Davies both seem to be reasonable innings-eaters, but not a whole lot else. Another player that the Royals are hopeful will rebound is 3B Alex Gordon. Gordon has been touted for a long time, and has been inconsistent at the Major League level to this point.

They do have some solid players coming down the line in Crow and Montgomery, but both are pretty far away still. It also remains to be seen how the long term plan works in Kansas City, as their best prospects realistically play the same positions as the young talents they already have. They really don’t have a whole lot of prospects for the outfield, and for a team that has had as many high draft picks as the Royals have, the minor league system seems unusually thin.

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

Realistically, the only players on the  Royals I’d want to own are Zack Greinke, Joakim Soria, and Billy Butler. Beyond that, the offense is a pretty big black hole. The pitching staff is not a whole lot better. My only upside players I see are Scott Podsednik, who could provide some steals, and Rick Ankiel, but only if he can return to his power form.

Prediction for 2010

The Royals aren’t going to compete this year. I’m not 100% sure that they’re going to compete in the next 3 years. It seems really likely to me that some point in the next 2 years, general manager Dayton Moore is going to lose his job, because the performance is really not getting it done. I know it takes time to rebuild  a system as bare as the Royals, but at some point they’re going to need to see improvement at the Major League level.

72-90, 4th in the AL Central

Free Agency Review – OF/DH


Continuing on with my review of the 2010 free agent class, today’s positions are the outfielders and designated hitters.

All salary data from ESPN.com’s Free Agent Tracker
All 2011 free agent information from MLB Trade Rumors’ 2011 Free Agent List

Corner Outfielders
Name Old New Years Total $
Jason Bay BOS NYM 4 $66 M
Matt Holliday STL STL 7 $120 M
Xavier Nady NYY CHC 1 $3.3 M
Randy Winn SF NYY 1 $1.1 M
Marlon Byrd TEX CHC 3 $15 M
Bobby Abreu LAA LAA 2 $19 M

Notable Remaining Free Agents: Johnny Damon (NYY), Jermaine Dye (CHW)

What an unusual offseason. Holliday gets $120 M from the Cardinals, despite appearing to have no other offers even remotely as large or as long. Bay takes about $6 M more than the Red Sox offered, and goes to a park which I have to imagine is not going to be as good for him as a hitter as Fenway was. And then there is the case of Johnny Damon. As of this writing, Damon is STILL unsigned. He was looking for a very large contract, with 3-4 years in length and a large quantity of money. After the season he had last year, he appears to have been well within his rights to ask for it, too. Unfortunately, no one’s willing to pay it. Which makes the contract that Bobby Abreu signed with the Angels look that much better.

Center Fielders
Name Old New Years Total $
Rick Ankiel STL KC 1 $3.25 M
Scott Podsednik CHW KCR 1 $1.75 M
Coco Crisp KCR OAK 1 $5.25 M
Mike Cameron MIL BOS 2 $15.5 M

Notable Remaining Free Agents: None

Center fielders did alright this offseason, with Mike Cameron receiving the best contract overall. He’s going to be playing LF for the Red Sox most likely, although they’d probably be better served moving Jacoby Ellsbury instead. Crisp was added to the A’s outfield in spite of the logjam that was there when the offseason started, and the move makes a lot more sense now that they were able to move a couple of their excess outfielders. Both Podsednik and Ankiel aren’t going to play CF for the Royals, but I could see them splitting their time out there, and potentially in RF in place of Jose Guillen as well.

Designated Hitters
Name Old New Years Total $
Jim Thome LAD MIN 1 $1.5 M
Vladimir Guerrero LAA TEX 1 $5 M
Hideki Matsui NYY LAA 1 $6.5 M

Notable Remaining Free Agents: None

Not surprisingly, there were not a lot of designated hitters available, and jobs for them either. Matsui did well to take Guerrero’s old job, and get a nice salary for 2010. I really like the signing for the Angels, as Matsui is the definition of a professional hitter. Should fit in well with the rest of the lineup and the roster. Guerrero could very well have an excellent season in Texas, although I think Texas probably would have been better served using that money for other spots on the roster besides a player who cannot play the field any longer. Thome’s signing was under the radar, and also fits really well with his new team. He brings a professionalism and veteran leadership to the Twins that they don’t have a lot of at the moment.

Tomorrow’s free agency review: Starting Pitchers