Dec 9, 2012, 11:58 PM EST
Royals GM Dayton Moore has told us for years to “trust the process.” For better or worse, he put forth his endgame on Sunday night, sacrificing top prospects Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi, not to mention third baseman Patrick Leonard and left-hander Mike Montgomery, in order to bring in James Shields and Wade Davis from the Rays.
In so doing, it looks like he jumped the gun. The process just wasn’t working out as hoped. The Royals had increased their win totals three straight years, but not hardly enough to matter. They won 65 games in 2009, 67 in 2010, 71 in 2011 and 72 in 2012.
And that’s the problem. These Royals weren’t two players away. At least not these two players. Maybe the 2014 Royals would have been. But the odds were against Moore being in charge of the 2014 Royals unless the team took a big step forward next season.
What we have here is a general manager who put his own best interests ahead of those of his team. And probably bought himself an extra year of employment as a reward.
That’s not to say it couldn’t work out. Shields is heckuva a pitcher, albeit not as good of one as Tropicana Field has made it seem (Shields has a 3.33 ERA at home and a 4.54 ERA on the road in his career). Davis seemed to find his niche as a reliever last season, though odds are that the Royals will take another look at him as a starter. Myers has very rare power for a right-handed hitter, but if last year’s strikeout rate is a sign of things to come, he might not post strong OBPs in the majors.
In the end, this trade will likely be judged on two factors: the Royals making the postseason and whether Myers turns into a star. I doubt he’ll be any sort of bust, but he might be more of a .250-.260 hitter than a perennial All-Star. My guess is that he ends up more in the Nick Swisher class of quality regular than something truly extraordinary.
Of course, Orodizzi should be overlooked, either. The best of the minor leaguers the Royals got from the Brewers in the Zack Greinke trade, he’s a potential No. 3 starter for the Rays.
As things stand now, these are your 2013 Royals:
Could that be a wild card team? It’s conceivable. The lineup certainly looks solid, especially 3-7. Shields is good enough to front a contending rotation, and Guthrie is a fair enough three or four. The bullpen should also be very strong, even if it’s filled with a bunch of relative no-names.
Still, the Royals will need some breaks. It will help a great deal if Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino can make strong returns from Tommy John surgery and contribute in the rotation, because those two could be considerable upgrades over Chen and Hochevar.
In the meantime, it’s a shallow team, something that will become painfully obvious once injuries strike. Myers and Odorizzi were definite candidates to contribute this season, and their absence leaves the Royals with little in the way of intriguing alternatives for DL fill-ins. Davis and Luis Mendoza are the primary rotation fallbacks. The Royals are going to have to add a couple of veteran bench players before the winter is out.
I’d say the Royals are an 82-85 win team at the moment. It’s a team with upside; Hosmer and Moustakas could break through and a healthy Perez will help a lot. But it’s still a real underdog for a wild card spot, and now the future for 2014 and beyond looks bleaker than it did yesterday.
Dec 10, 2013, 1:54 PM EST
The Denver Post’s Troy Renck and FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal are reporting that the Rockies and A’s have restarted talks regarding left-hander Brett Anderson. The Rockies have also been pursuing Reds reliever Sean Marshall as they attempt to bolster their pitching staff. As things stand right now, the Rockies are likely looking at a rotation of…
Dec 10, 2013, 1:31 PM EST
Curtis Granderson was just formally introduced as the newest New York Met. And, having just left the employ of the New York Yankees, lobbed a bomb that you know the tabloids are going to run with like crazy: “A lot of people have told me real New Yorkers are Mets fans” Granderson is smart and…
Dec 10, 2013, 1:25 PM EST
1:25 p.m. EST update: MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez hears that the three-team deal is “getting pretty close” and that Howie Kendrick is not involved. /// ESPN.com’s Keith Law hears the White Sox are now part of the trade talks designed to send Mark Trumbo to Arizona, with the White Sox getting outfielder Adam Eaton and sending…
Dec 10, 2013, 12:50 PM EST
At some point the Mariners will presumably want to add a high-priced closer to their increasingly expensive roster and Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that Seattle is interested in former Rays closer Fernando Rodney. Morosi notes that Rodney knows new Mariners manager Llloyd McClendon from their time together with the Tigers, although back then Rodney…
Dec 10, 2013, 12:28 PM EST
Posted by his wife, Ashley, to twitter, with the caption “Awkward family photo.”
Dec 10, 2013, 12:10 PM EST
The Juan Uribe market is sizzling, it seems. Enrique Rojas reports that the Dodgers and White Sox are “pushing hard” for him. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Marlins are interested as well. And why not? Uribe is coming off a pretty darn good 2013, posting a .769 OPS in 426 plate appearances while playing an excellent…
Dec 10, 2013, 11:51 AM EST
Tony Jackson has covered baseball for two decades, including gigs as the Dodgers beat reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News and ESPN Los Angeles, but now he’s hanging up the keyboard after a brief run as an independent blogger: After all these years, I simply have had my fill of covering baseball. I used…
Dec 10, 2013, 11:30 AM EST
The Diamondbacks seem determined to get a bat, and it’s apparently going to be either Mark Trumbo or Shin-Soo Choo. It sounds like, for their own good, it had better be Choo. Jon Heyman reports that they are currently considering trading Trevor Cahill and Tyler Skaggs to the Angels for Trumbo. Which, really, seems like an…
Dec 10, 2013, 11:19 AM EST
There’s been surprisingly few teams linked to Ubaldo Jimenez and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer did some digging to figure out why. He turned down a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer and any team signing him would be giving up a draft pick to do so. According to Hoynes the Indians “have remained…
Dec 10, 2013, 11:06 AM EST
The Baseball Writers Association of America held its annual meeting this morning and admitted three new members to its ranks. They are: Grantland/ESPN’s Jonah Keri, Yahoo!’s Dave Brown and ESPN’s David Schoenfield. All three are deserving, hard-working baseball writers. All three are also top representatives of online baseball media. It’s very good, both for them and,…
Dec 10, 2013, 10:57 AM EST
Greg Johns of MLB.com is reporting that Jason Bay could sign with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Central League. Bay — who appears to be more than done as a major leaguer — was released by the Mariners in August after he hit a mere .204/.298/.393 over 236 plate appearances in 2013. He’s 35. Personally…
Dec 10, 2013, 10:47 AM EST
Add another name to the list, as Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is getting into The Best Shape Of His Life: The Cubs are making sure shortstop Starlin Castro reports to Spring Training in better shape. The team assigned strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss to the Dominican Republic to…
Dec 10, 2013, 10:30 AM EST
The Baseball Writers Association of America has named Roger Angell of the New Yorker as the 2014 winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame during the induction ceremonies in Cooperstown next July. The Spink Award is given for “meritorious contributions to baseball writing.” And Angell certainly…
Dec 10, 2013, 10:15 AM EST
It sounds like Baltimore has zeroed in on its preferred Jim Johnson replacement, as Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Orioles are “trying to get a deal done” with former A’s closer Grant Balfour. Balfour didn’t get a chance to be a closer until age 33, but he’s saved 62 games with a 2.56…
Dec 10, 2013, 9:52 AM EST
It’s been a long time coming — and was mostly agreed to a couple of days ago — but Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that MLB and NPB have an agreement in place on a new posting system that now only requires ratification by baseball’s executive council. That approval is expected. The…
Dec 10, 2013, 9:45 AM EST
Reported yesterday that he was being viewed by more teams as a “Plan B” trade target, the A’s are reportedly now thinking of not shopping Brett Anderson. Jeff Passan: Sources: Teams believe A’s have cooled on idea of trading Brett Anderson this week. May still go eventually. Just not close to a guarantee. — Jeff…
Dec 10, 2013, 9:21 AM EST
If someone — anyone — has a clue what the Phillies’ grand plan is, I’d love to hear it. I’m sure anyone would: The Phillies have indicated to other teams they are ready and willing to talk about Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels in trades. — Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 10, 2013 I suppose that…
Dec 10, 2013, 9:00 AM EST
UPDATE: Looks like the deal is done: two years with the Tigers, reports Ben Nicholson-Smith. The details are unknown. 9AM: Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Tigers are the frontrunners for Rajai Davis. Since, according to Smith, Davis is expected to sign quickly, it would appear that he’s crossing the Ambassador Bridge and heading for Motown. Davis…
Dec 10, 2013, 8:29 AM EST
Every year we get a report that Mark Prior is working out, hoping to make a major league comeback after years of injuries. No more. Andrew Simon of MLB.com reports that the former Cubs phenom is calling it quits: After a series of injuries and several comeback attempts, it appears Mark Prior is ready to…
Dec 10, 2013, 8:11 AM EST
A true sign that the Winter Meetings are snoozeville: we’re already seeing January BSOHL stories. Case in point, Buster Posey, who is lifting weights and stuff: When the Giants training staff checked in with Buster Posey recently, the former National League MVP had a goal in mind. “He’s trying to get a little stronger in…
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- Roy Halladay is retiring 54
- Tony La Russa Bobby Cox, Joe Torre all unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame 50
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