Ervin Santana? Â – This week it was rumored the Blue Jays are taking themselves out of the running on Santana leaving the Yankees and M’s as possibly the only suitors left. Â To say his agent overplayed his hand early in the offseason is somewhat of an understatement at this point and Santana it looks like is going to be stuck accepting possibly less money than Ricky Nolasco, Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez had to (we should all be so lucky). Â Another option that Santana should entertain is returning to the Royals on a one year prove it deal, change agents and attack the market once again with back to back good seasons. Â I say return to KC of course because he would pitch in front of the leagues best defense and in a park that depresses his biggest weakness, giving up the long ball.
Ricky Aracena – The Royals have been rumored to be interested in the DPL Shortstop. Â While it was somewhat interesting to hear that Ulises Cabrera thought he was more advanced at this stage than RA Mondesi was we must remember that RA’s game didn’t start to take off until that first instructs. Â At least that’s when we learned that the Royals may have come upon a steal in signing him for around $2M. Â The body type of Aracena doesn’t lead to much projection but as the middle of the field becomes more and more valuable then his ability to stick at short with a switch hitting bat could prove to be an asset. Â Listen to the full interview at RoyalsPodcast.com and on our site here.
Billy Butler – I believe Billy is going to have to return his 2012 or better numbers to get a chance for the Royals or another team to pick up his option. Â The designated hitter is slowly morphing into a utility spot to plug in guys on days off despite evidence that shows teams last year who left a permanent DH in their lineup significantly outperformed the teams that didn’t. Â The Royals have talked about Danny Valencia taking reps at first base and are about to keep Justin Maxwell on the roster despite having pretty much no available at bats for him. Â If that doesn’t signal an eventual move on for Billy then I don’t know what does. Â While I personally love Billy’s hitting ability he won’t break the bank finding a landing spot after seeing the market for Kendrys Morales. Â That’s okay some savvy team will look at the age, on base skill and power potential away from the K and find a real gem.
Salvador Perez – While I love Sal this idea that he is a valuable player away from catcher is overplayed at this point. Â As with most Royals he’s pretty hacktastic and in my opinion has a pretty flat swing path that will lead to more doubles than home runs, unless he can take big steps in his patience at the plate then he needs to work hard to keep fit and lean to stay behind the dish for 130+ games per season. Â If he does take that step this year or next the Royals will be asking the question what do we need to do to get him to sign a lifetime deal?
Braves Spending Spree – The Braves continued their solid offseason by signing Andrelton Simmons to a contract through 2020. Â While these longterm contracts for young players is the latest market efficiency it is easier done when teams have been given new baseball stadiums to create revenue and new tv deals. Â The Royals have just one big revenue stream to look forward to in the TV deal that expires in 2019. Â With that said I don’t look at KC giving any Freddie Freeman type deals out to this current group unless Eric Hosmer would change his mind. Â Maybe the big deal doesn’t come to one of the current players but someone in the minors like RA Mondesi, Hunter Dozier or someone that isn’t drafted just yet. Â Look for them to continue to take advantage of Latin America however with a Ventura or Herrera extension if they would have good seasons this year.
Woeful Wilmington – While Sean Manaea’s name has popped up on or just after most Top 100 list it should be noted that the Royals college big names that have landed in Wilmington haven’t faired too well. Â The Royals plugged Aaron Crow with the 12th pick in 2009 and sent him to Wilmington, most of us expected domination and a quick move to AA. Â That never came obviously as Crow struggled allowing over a hit per inning despite striking out 53 in 44 innings. Â After Crow the Royals sent college lefty Chris Dwyer there in 2010 and despite a better looking ERA the Clemson lefty had a 1.328 WHIP which is just okay. Â Finally the Royals pushed Kyle Zimmer there this last year and against despite big strikeout numbers we saw Zimmer struggle for a few months before finding his way and earning a bump to AA after 18 Carolina league starts. Â Just because Sean is a college kid with the stuff that some thought could earn the #1 pick prior to his injury doesn’t mean he’ll show up and dominate the Carolina league.
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