As I mentioned last week, this edition of Friday Notes is brought to you after the games have been completed, and that’s sad. That said, the offseason is when Royals fans wake up and it’s when I’ve woken up with the trade the Royals completed on Wednesday to begin to bolster a rough rotation. Between you and me, I was starting to feel a little pressed for topics and just generally lacked some of the passion to talk about a team like the Royals. Love or hate the trade or anything in between, it gave me a new sense of life, and I’m ready to go. Still, this will be a slightly abridged version because between Gordon’s gold glove, the Santana story, me on the radio on Wednesday night, you’ve heard more than enough of me this week.
- I’ve said this before, but I’m going to reiterate it here. Ervin Santana is a decent start to the offseason in order to turn the rotation from scary to respectable, but if the Royals want to compete, they need to go get that ace. And they need to trade a big bat who is a part of the core. This is a concept that isn’t new, but some thoughts running through my head have added a new wrinkle that none of us will like, but makes a lot of sense from the team’s perspective. If the Royals dangle Eric Hosmer or Billy Butler to go get a top of the rotation starter, they have the opportunity to rotate DHs throughout the season which is a growing trend around the league. Now here’s the part you won’t like. It means Francoeur can stick around with Myers playing a combination of right field and center. He can play center on the road in some smaller parks and give Cain a half-day off where Myers’ lack of range won’t necessarily hurt the team. It’s not my choice to keep Francoeur, but if the Royals want a legitimate one or two starter, it may be a necessary evil.
- While I think there are areas of the offense that could stand to be upgraded through either free agency or trade, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it’s more important to spend the money on pitching. If the Royals can get a guy like a Keppinger for fairly cheap, then they should probably do that, but with the budget that has been presented, I think the Royals need to focus the vast majority of their free agent dollars on pitching because it’s going to take it all in order to turn the rotation into at least average.
- On the topic of the rotation, I’ve been thinking a lot about the in house guy, Jeremy Guthrie. My first thought was sign him for what he’s looking for. I know $8-$10 million per year is steep for a guy like that, but he pitched so well. Of course, then I got to thinking about it, and I think I’d be okay with that for two years, but even that would be a little rich for my blood. The thing about Guthrie that scares me is he pitched as well as he had through most of his career and it was such a small sample size. Add in his age and Guthrie becomes a scary signing for the team. I still think it’s silly they seemingly haven’t even discussed much of anything both before the season ended and since when they’ve had an exclusive window to negotiate. Guthrie now appears likely to test the free agent market and might find something to his liking. I just really hope the Royals don’t give him a third year and they find a way to upgrade without making the 2015 team worse.
- This is your semi-regular reminder to check out our podcasts. Our last guest of Bob Dutton gave us some great material and we’re going to keep getting great guests throughout the offseason, so give us a listen. Any questions or comments send to firstname.lastname@example.org. The best question we get and read on the podcast will win you a sweet Pine Tar Press hat.
Have a good weekend everyone!
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