Another cold week in the books, and we’re that much closer to finally making it to spring training after enduring this long offseason. If you’re on any social media channels, I think you can feel the collective antsy-ness (is that a word? it is now) of the fan base as people are just ready to get this season going and see what the team has. I know I’m excited to have some new things to write about rather than rehashing topics over and over again. It’s nice, though, when something actually happens in the world of baseball because it gives some discussion points and things to talk about even if the Royals weren’t involved at all. There’s a concept in marketing that is pretty relevant to the baseball offseason when you’re a writer, and it’s known as newsjacking. It’s taking a story in the news and making it relevant to your brand. Without further ado…
- The Mets agreed to terms with Shaun Marcum on a one-year deal. Many wanted Marcum in the Royals 2013 rotation and he was a heavily discussed name early in the winter. I heard from a few different people that his arm was just an absolute mess and teams weren’t willing to give him the multi-year deal he wanted. The fact that he lasted until the end of January is the first sign that those reports I heard are correct. And then the fact that he got a one-year deal is the second sign. Back in the middle of the 2012 season, I was on record as saying I wanted Marcum, but after learning about the shambles that are his arm, I kind of shied away. Of course, there’s mostly no such thing as a bad one-year deal, and I’d have loved him on that contract. By the time he was ready to come down from his demands, though, the Royals had filled 4/5 of their rotation and already had over $9 million tied up in a competition for the number five starter, so he wasn’t a viable option.
- The Phillies signed former American League Central foe Delmon Young to a one-year deal this week as well. The reason I mention him is two-fold. The first is that I saw a fair amount of outrage by Royals fans that the Royals didn’t sign him for the relatively cheap deal he took. To that I say, “uhhh…really?” Look, Delmon Young is likely to be better than Jeff Francoeur at a fraction of the cost, but Francoeur is already signed for better or for worse and Delmon Young, well, sucks. The second part is the crazy weight clause he has in his deal. He’s at 238 lbs. now. If he’s at 230 or below in his first three weigh-ins, he gets $100,000 each time. And then if he’s at 235 or below in his next three, he gets another $100,000 each time. Yes, that’s right. He has to lose eight pounds and then he can even gain five more. Jealousy is ugly, but man am I jealous of that.
- Continuing with my newsjacking, the Braves finally landed their second Upton brother of the off-season sending Martin Prado, Randall Delgado and prospects to the Diamondbacks in exchange for Justin Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson. Aside from continuing to be perplexed by the Diamondbacks offseason, my first thought turned to what the Royals would have had to give up to get this done. Even if I had no desire for the player, that’s usually what I think about. In this case, I’m not really sure the Royals had a deal to match the Braves offer. They simply didn’t have a young starter of Delgado’s ilk or a position player valued similarly to Prado. I imagine something along the lines of Moustakas, Ventura, Arteaga and maybe Jason Adam would have been somewhat comparable value, but that’s just what I thought off the top of my head. I’d have definitely made that deal if I was the Royals, but the point is moot and I wouldn’t even be talking about if more was going on.
- I hemmed and hawed, and ultimately decided to skip Fanfest this year. From what I understood, it was a lot of lines and was very crowded. Not being an autograph hound and with the packed festivities of the day, it just didn’t seem like my cup of tea, but I’d love to hear in the comments from those who went. My uninformed (because I wasn’t there) opinion is that the Royals need to make this a two-day event again considering how popular it appeared to be this season. With so many new players, fans wanted to meet and greet them and the Royals should have been on the ball about that. I could be totally off here, but my gut reaction is they were behind the eight ball again on a public relations opportunity.
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