The GM meetings are underway which usually indicates we’re on the verge of some action. A lot of times at these meetings, the frameworks for deals are made and then the deal is consummated at the winter meetings next month in Nashville. Until then, we’re going to have to stick to the timeless fun of speculating what our favorite team might do next. The good news is the Royals have kept us pretty well stocked up on fuel for that with some small-time transactions outside of the Ervin Sanana trade, so I guess that’s something. Plus, there is something nice about the early part of the winter when your team hasn’t disappointed you yet in who they signed or didn’t sign.
- News broke this week that Jeremy Guthrie is looking for a three year deal worth $34 million. I’ve been firmly on the sign Jeremy Guthrie bandwagon for awhile, but I’ve also been pretty steadfast in my belief that three years is just too long for a pitcher on the wrong side of 30 coming off the type of season he had when you include his Colorado experience. I know his time in Coors Field should be taken with a grain of salt, but it did still happen. And prior to 2012, Guthrie was 30-48 with a 4.39 ERA over 99 games (97 starts) spanning 617.1 innings. He doesn’t strike many out and he has pretty solid control. I don’t say this to demean the pitcher Guthrie is because I think he’d be the best pitcher on the Royals if they signed him today, but if he’s going to require that many years for that much money, the Royals would be wise to look elsewhere.
- Another Royals free agent is drawing interest from what seems like just about every team, and that’s Joakim Soria. As he recovers from his second Tommy John surgery, interest appears to be higher than maybe the Royals expected. I love Joakim Soria. He’s long been one of my favorite Royals. Welcome to the Jungle instantly became one of my favorite songs in 2008 because it usually meant he was on his way into the game. That said, if there’s a bidding war for Soria, the Royals need to thank him for his fantastic years shutting the door in the ninth inning and wish him luck in his future endeavors. A guy coming off his second elbow surgery is no guarantee for success and a team like the Royals who operate on a budget really shouldn’t be spending a terribly large amount of money on bullpen arms. Look at last year’s pen that was one of the best in the American League. Other than Soria who didn’t pitch, Broxton was the highest priced piece out there and they continued to excel after he was gone. I’d love to bring Soria back for something like $2-3 million, but if it gets more out of hand than that, it’s time to say goodbye.
- I brought this up yesterday on Twitter when I broached the question of would you trade Mike Moustakas for Justin Upton? The Diamondbacks are believed to have put the young right fielder on the trade block yet again and many believe this time the deal will get done. I probably have enough to say on this to write a whole blog post, but it seems silly considering I doubt it will happen. This is the perfect space for the discussion. Arizona is said to be looking for a young third baseman in return for Upton and the Royals have one. The pros are that Upton has done it before and done it at a near elite level as a very young player. The cons are that he’s had his down years as well (though still better than Moustakas’s 2012) and Moustakas has shown he can be a plus defender at a position slightly higher on the defensive spectrum. After thinking about it, I think I’d really be okay either way with this one. If it happens, the Royals would probably shift Myers to third full time and hope he can figure out the position, so that’s covered…sort of. And if not, then the Royals have a guy at third who I think will eventually learn to lay off some pitches and turn into a power-hitting third baseman who can really pick it.
- I’m having a really hard time getting over the comments from Dayton Moore about not wanting to block any of the young pitching for 2014 considering what happened this season. If you think back to right before spring training, Moore made some comments that he was hesitant to dip his toe in the free agent waters last off-season because he didn’t want to block the progress of guys like Mike Montgomery, Chris Dwyer and Jake Odorizzi. I’m not sure that he named those three specifically, but those were the top pitching prospects in the organization at the time, so I guess I just inferred that. I mentioned this when I wrote an article about this a couple weeks ago, but what ended up happening was Moore did not address the Royals biggest need for fear of blocking what amounted to two starts, both by Jake Odorizzi and both late in the season. The moral of this story is that counting on prospects is a quick way to lose your job because they’re so unpredictable. I hope what Moore said a couple weeks ago was just preparing us if a move could not be made, but I have my doubts.
- We’re off from the podcast next week, but Clint and I have a pretty awesome guest booked for the week of November 19, so check back then. Until that time, don’t forget to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments. We check the email every couple days and always right before we record, so we’ll try to get to all questions in a timely manner. I don’t want to speak for Clint, but I’ve had an absolute blast recording the podcast, and I hope you all have enjoyed listening and that you’ll keep listening because we don’t just have great guests lined up for the week of the 19th. We’re pretty well set for a few weeks with some really fantastic people to talk Royals and baseball in general.
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