Yes, it is that time of the year again. Time to throw out the old and bring in the new. And time to start preparing those New Year’s resolutions that will make us better people in the coming year. Some will commit to their resolutions and actually make the change while others will have forgotten them by the time the hangover wears off on January 1st.
While making my own resolutions for 2014, I decided to also suggest a few that Kansas City Royals players and management could adopt to help them improve 2014.
Here you go team.
I resolve to ignore the money and instead pay attention to the 2014 results on the field and in the stands.
I resolve to not go bargain basement hunting and instead allow our minor league prospects to prove themselves without blocking their way with other teams’ left overs just to be comforted by “organizational depth.” Continue reading
Royals General Manager Dayton Moore has been quietly busy this off season. And unlike past years, it seems all moves have actually improved the team. Amazing what Moore can do when given a proper budget.
Moore began the off season by signing starting pitcher Jason Vargas to a four year free agent contract then followed with trading pitcher Will Smith to Milwaukee for outfielder Norichika Aoki. Moore then achieved a small coup in tempting infielder Omar Infante away from the New York Yankees via a four year deal with fifth year option.
His latest move made just this week sent outfielder David Lough to Baltimore for infielder Danny Valencia.
The Vargas signing effectively replaced the loss of pitcher Bruce Chen and his nine wins in 2013. Aoki gives KC a much needed leadoff hitter plus actually improves the outfield defense, a major statement when the Royals already had one of the best run preventing outfields in baseball. Infante provides probably the biggest upgrade plugging a 2nd base hole that had been rated the second worst position in baseball over the last three years. And finally, Valencia adds security and a potential platoon at 3rd base should Mike Moustakas again struggle in 2014. Valencia also adds a right handed power bat to the bench, potentially making Justin Maxwell available. Continue reading
Here we are, half way through the baseball off season. As happens every year; tendering is complete, the winter meetings are history and Rule 5 draft selections are all but forgotten. The hoopla from a flurry of trades and signings has also died down although strangely, several top free agents still seek homes for 2014. Whether a result of the delayed Japanese posting system, the “lose your draft pick” death warrant, or just teams holding onto the extra TV money is open to discussion.
As for the Royals, one thing has not changed.
General Manager Dayton Moore is once again making wholesale moves; adding and subtracting players with abandon just as he has done every year of his tenure. However, the large number of moves this off season would appear excessive for a team supposedly on the cusp of the playoffs as many believe. That is until you look beneath the surface of those moves.
The 2014 Royals opening day roster will include no less than nine different players than started the 2013 season. Gone are outfielder Jeff Francoeur, infielders Chris Getz, Miguel Tejada and Elliot Johnson, catcher George Kottaras and pitchers Ervin Santana, Bruce Chen, Luis Mendoza and J. C. Gutierrez. Continue reading
The Kansas City Royals currently have six viable outfield candidates for the 2014 season. At least one must go before opening day while a second is probable given the Omar Infante signing moves Emilio Bonifacio to a utility spot with one role as backup outfielder. That also excludes the possibility of General Manager Dayton Moore signing a free agent power hitting outfield bat, one of his stated objectives this off season.
So how do those six Royals outfielders stack up?
The chart below summarizes several statistics for the group including standard batting average (BA), on base percentage (OBP), and slugging average (SLG) along with several sabermetric stats including on base + slugging adjusted for ball park (OPS+), win probability added (WPA) and run effectiveness (RE24). A defensive stat, total zone fielding runs above average (Rtot), is included to compare defensive capabilities, while the final stat is the widely accepted wins above replacement (WAR) that basically summarizes all other stats. Continue reading
The annual meeting of baseball’s power brokers occurred this week in a most appropriate place, DisneyWorld, home of children’s (and General Manager’s) fantasies everywhere. While a few trades and free agent signings made headlines, this year’s summit seemed more about boredom than excitement.
For Kansas City Royals GM Dayton Moore and staff, it was almost the week that wasn’t despite all the lead up hype.
After previously signing free agent Jason Vargas and trading for Norichika Aoki, Moore said he came to Florida still needing a 2nd baseman, power outfield bat and another starting pitcher.
The Royals were linked to several rumors and gossip leading up to Monday’s opening day. It started with interest in Joba Chamberlain even though he fit none of the holes Moore wanted to fill and despite the Royals 2014 bullpen already being over stocked and projected to earn a top market $18M. Continue reading