Friday Notes Reviewed by Momizat on . If you live in Kansas City, it may be hard to believe that baseball season is right around the corner since there's an insane amount of snow on the ground, but If you live in Kansas City, it may be hard to believe that baseball season is right around the corner since there's an insane amount of snow on the ground, but Rating: 0
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Friday Notes

Friday Notes

If you live in Kansas City, it may be hard to believe that baseball season is right around the corner since there’s an insane amount of snow on the ground, but baseball’s almost here. In just one week, Salvador Perez and the catchers will join James Shields and the pitchers and Spring Training will be officially underway. As a reminder, Pine Tar Press will have a bit of a presence in Surprise as I’ll be down there from March 5-9 and Clint will be down there a couple weeks later (I really should know the exact dates). Either way, we’ll be there and having a great time I’m sure. If you get the chance to make the trip to Arizona in March, you truly won’t regret it. Let’s get to the Royals stuff.

  • I started writing about the DFA of Emilio Bonifacio probably six different times after learning about it last weekend. Of course, I didn’t finish writing about the DFA of Emilio Bonifacio, so this is the first time I’ve put my thoughts out there on this site. First of all, it doesn’t surprise me that he won’t be a part of the team. The Royals, on a limited budget, would be stretched to pay $3.5 million for a backup. I like Bonifacio a lot, I really do, but there’s just better ways for that money to be spent. That said, the timing of this is extremely odd. The Royals had just recently settled on his salary for 2014, and I thought they were going to trade him before the end of spring training. Instead, they simply DFA’d him. I believe the timing of the designation allowed them to be off the hook for the entire contract, but that seems like an odd choice anyway. If they DFA him in a couple weeks, they’re on the hook for 1/6 of his salary, or about $600k. Personally, I think it’s worth $600k to see if there’s a trade partner out there without having a time limit to trade him (as they do when they DFA a player, they get 10 days to trade or release). If there’s nobody, bite the bullet and pay the portion of his salary and let him go. The whole thing confuses me. And to be fair, there’s still a chance he gets traded because the ten days aren’t yet up.
  • The Royals unveiled their 2014 slogan this week, and it’s exciting. Okay, it isn’t exciting, but what did you expect? The last time the Royals went out on the tiniest of ledges with “Our Time” they were ridiculed for it because they were bad. So now, “Be Royal” will be the rally cry of the organization. And you know what? It’s fine. I kind of envision some marketing person in the organization having watched the Grammy’s a couple weeks ago, hearing Lorde’s song and waking up with it the next morning in his head. He gleefully put on his shirt and tie before driving into the office with his new great idea of “Be Royal” that caught fire around the office. And here we are. I don’t know if that’s the way it happened, but that’s how I like to picture it in my head.
  • It’s interesting to me that Greg Holland and the Royals haven’t come to an agreement on a deal after exchanging figures last month. Holland is asking for $5.2 million while the Royals have offered him $4.1 million. While the gap between them is pretty large, Holland doesn’t seem like the type of guy who couldn’t overcome it. I’ve said from the start that I think the Royals settle at about $4.7 million, which is closer to Holland’s price than the Royals offer to show some good faith, but now I’m wondering if there’s more to it. It’s been discussed as rumor that the Royals and Greg Holland might be working on a long-term deal, but the fact that no agreement has been announced on an arbitration number makes me wonder if that is really happening. The question is what would it take. If Holland continues going year to year, he could easily make $22 million over the next three seasons, if not more. So what would the Royals have to offer? I think they’d have to go 4 years, $30 million or so with an option for something like $12 or $13 million. As great as Holland is, how much do the Royals, a team on a budget, want to pay for a guy who throws 70 innings? This organization has plenty of high impact arms who profile in the bullpen. I think there are better uses of eight figure contracts.
  • Over the weekend, it was mentioned that the Royals are probably going to hold Kyle Zimmer back from pitching in games until May 1, but they’re saying it has nothing to do with the injury that shut him down at the end of 2013. Instead, the reason given is that they are saving him for innings down the stretch when he can help the Royals in a playoff push. As long as he’s throwing and not just sitting, I really don’t have a big problem with that. Zimmer threw just 108.1 innings last season and is probably on an innings leash of about 150 or so innings in 2014. Frankly, if he’s ready for the big leagues, I’d rather those be in the Royals rotation instead of in the Naturals or Storm Chasers rotation. In studying and learning more about pitching, I’m discovering that innings limits can be a little bit silly, but I guess I don’t have a huge problem with it in this case since there’s a bit of an injury history after last season. Clint and I talked about this on the podcast this week, but we could be looking at a situation where Chen, Ventura, Duffy and Zimmer combine for the 65-70 starts of two rotation spots rather than any of them claiming a spot for the entire year. I think I’d be okay with that.
  • Mike Moustakas has been intriguing to me all off-season and getting more so as the season moves closer. The projection systems aren’t exactly forecasting a breakout, but ZiPS, Steamer and Oliver combine to project about a .254/.305/.413 line for Moustakas in 2014. That’s still below average, but it probably equates to about a 95 or so OPS+ and a roughly 92 or 93 wRC+last season. When you combine that with the good defense Moustakas has played for two consecutive seasons, you start to be able to see a player who could be somewhat valuable to the Royals, but in a different way than was expected when he was drafted second overall in 2008. After making an appearance at Fanfest last weekend, there’s no doubt he’s in at least a little better shape, so it’ll be interesting to see what he can do in 2013. He proved in 2012 that even with slightly below average offense, he can be a three win player. If he can somehow find it in him to hit .275/.330/.440 (which he has shown me nothing saying he can, mind you), he could become a very, very valuable piece to this team. He’s an interesting one to watch this year because I think he might be fighting for his job in 2015 if 2014 doesn’t go well.
  • I’ve said both here and on Twitter that I can’t see the Royals going into the season with both Danny Valencia and Justin Maxwell, and I’ve been asked about it a few times, so I thought I’d explain myself here. If you look at the Royals roster, it’s a given that they’ll enter the season with 12 pitchers. So now we’re down to 13 roster spots available. The starting nine of Aoki, Infante, Hosmer, Butler, Gordon, Perez, Moustakas, Cain and Escobar is set. So now there’s four spots left. One is going to the backup catcher. That’s three spots. I really don’t see a way the Royals don’t go with a backup middle infielder even though Fox Sports Kansas City’s Jeffrey Flanagan thinks they might. So that’s two spots left. And with Lorenzo Cain in CF not exactly the picture of health, I think the Royals sort of have to keep Jarrod Dyson around. So now there’s one spot left. As this roster is constructed, both Valencia and Maxwell provide right-handed pop off the bench, but I think Valencia plays a more important role as Moustakas just doesn’t hit lefties and Valencia can spell him at third. The only way I can see both on the roster is if the Royals feel comfortable with Aoki in CF for an extended period of time because then they could get rid of Dyson and keep both right-handed sluggers. Other than that, it’s hard to see both on the team at the same time.

Follow me on Twitter @DBLesky

About The Author

I never had a chance. I was born into a family who loved baseball and the Royals, so I accordingly love baseball and the Royals. I just so happen to love to write also, which makes writing about the Royals for this site something that makes me happy each and every day. When I first started blogging, a fairly well known baseball writer told me to only do it until I'm unhappy doing it, but I don't see that coming any time soon.

Number of Entries : 833

Comments (4)

  • David Lesky

    I believe the rules for DFA and the salary involved is different in the off-season and the Royals will be on the hook for, at most, 1/6 of Bonifacio’s salary at this point. I’d be more than surprised if he was a member of the 2014 Royals.

  • DownUnderFan

    OK now I think I have some answers… Here is the explanation for DFA:

    Designated for assignment is a contractual term used in Major League Baseball. A player who is designated for assignment is immediately removed from the team’s 40-man roster, after which the team must either return the player to the 40-man roster within 10 days from the date of designation or make one of the following contractual moves:
    Place the player on waivers (which can only be done within the first 7 days of the 10-day period)
    Trade the player
    Release the player
    Outright the player from the 40-man roster into the Minor Leagues.

    Place the player on waivers = Typically a player is placed on waivers after being designated for assignment for the purpose of outrighting him to one of the club’s minor league teams. A player who is outrighted to the triple A is removed from the 40-man roster but is still paid according to the terms of his guaranteed contract. A player can only be outrighted once in his career without his consent. However, a player must clear waivers (that is, no other team may place a waiver claim on the player) to be sent to a minor league team. Also, if the player has five or more full years of major league service, he must give consent to be assigned to the minors. If the player withholds consent, the team must either release him or keep him on the major league roster. In either case, the player must continue to be paid under the terms of his contract.

    Trade the player = Once a player is designated for assignment, he may be traded.

    Release the player = If a player is not traded, and clears waivers, he may be released from the team. The player is then a free agent and may sign with any team, including the team that just released him. The team that releases him is responsible for the salary the player is owed, less what he is paid by the team that signs him (in practice, the amount paid by the signing team is usually a pro-rated portion of the Major League minimum salary).

    Outright from the 40-man roster = If the player clears waivers when being designated for assignment, they can most commonly be outrighted from the 40-man roster and play for any class in the Minor Leagues.

    Bonifacio has 5.066 years of service time so based on this, he can refuse assignment and be released. He can then sign for league minimum anywhere and Royals are on hook for remaining $3M. If Bonifacio did agree to be sent to AAA then he would still earn his $3.5M salary in the minors so that won’t happen.

    Royals have to put Bonifacio on waivers today if they want someone to claim him. If not, it appears to me the only choice is to reinstate him to 40 man roster. This looks to me like it was a fishing expedition to see if someone would trade for him and Bonifacio will be back on roster on Tuesday if no one does. And that may be unlikely considering any team can sign him for league minimum if they wait until Tuesday.

  • DownUnderFan

    Sorry, Saturday is the 7 days of control for trading. 10 days would be Tuesday I think with 3 days on waivers.

  • DownUnderFan

    Enjoyed the podcast this week. Most of it you reiterated here.

    One question on Bonifacio. I read if the Royals end up not finding a trade partner and release him then he can sign with any club for league minimum and Royals are on hook for the other $3M. Is this true?

    If so then I wonder if Bonifacio was DFA’d because they needed the room now, but with a plan that if they could not trade him, they return him to roster and waive someone else rather than give him his release. Guess will find out on Saturday when the 10 day period is up.

    Also understand that if he is not traded by Saturday then has to go through waivers as well and Royals would be on hook for 1/6 of his salary if that happens. This DFA, waiver, release system in off season is very confusing. Maybe you can clarify.

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