Friday Notes Reviewed by Momizat on . Hopefully everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving and you aren't having too difficult of a time coming out of your food coma from yesterday. I know that I person Hopefully everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving and you aren't having too difficult of a time coming out of your food coma from yesterday. I know that I person Rating:
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Friday Notes

Friday Notes

Hopefully everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving and you aren’t having too difficult of a time coming out of your food coma from yesterday. I know that I personally ate a wee bit too much.  Anyway, with Thanksgiving over, we’re getting into a busy time in the off-season with the winter meetings just a couple weeks away and lots of teams itching to make some moves. I bet we see some action here before the meetings start on the trade front, which could involve our beloved Royals who are still in the market for another starting pitcher even after trading for Ervin Santana and signing Jeremy Guthrie.

  • I gave a brief opinion of the Guthrie signing on Tuesday when it went down and the on the podcast this week, but now that I’ve had a little more time to think about it, I’ve come to some more conclusions. I love the deal for 2013. Obviously $5 million for a pitcher who is capable of putting up above average numbers in the American League is a solid deal. When you consider what the going rate for innings is, as long as he doesn’t put up a 5.50 ERA, the 200 innings he’s likely to provide are worth $5 million. I don’t even really mind the second year even if it is a little expensive at $11 million. With extra revenue coming in next season to the television contract, player contracts could show enough inflation next season that $11 million really isn’t too far out of line. My issue remains with the third year at a not insignificant cost of $9 million. In my estimation, the Royals should be able to field a payroll north of $100 million in 2015 and if they do, then the $9 million isn’t all that important (though it’s still significant). However, if they are where I’d predict they will be at around $80-$90 million, they can’t tie up 10% of their payroll in a 36 year-old pitcher who is not even likely to be an average player. It’s why free agency is typically not the best game for the Royals to play.
  • A name that seems to be somewhat overlooked for next year’s rotation is Luis Mendoza. I’m not sure if he’s seen as a lock or if he’s this year’s Felipe Paulino (someone who performed really well, but still has to do something fantastic to get Dayton Moore’s attention), but you just don’t hear much about him. I admit that I was mostly wrong about Luis Mendoza, but part of what made him better is his strikeout rate increased which was my main concern with him. I think there are worse things that could happen than Luis Mendoza opening the 2013 season as the number four or five starter. Of course, right now, he’s probably the third best guy going into the season which is the bigger issue.
  • If you want to get upset about the fact that the Royals had to take on a $12 million risk with Ervin Santana and give Jeremy Guthrie that third year, let’s go to the root of the problem which is that this organization has been unable to develop any kind of pitching over the last seven seasons. And if you go back even farther, no starting pitcher outside of Zack Greinke has been developed and had any success since maybe Jose Rosado. Through year six of Dayton Moore’s regime, he’s gotten some starts from guys in his minor league system, but the only one to date who’s had any success is Danny Duffy, and that success is both limited and now put on hold due to his having Tommy John surgery. I have a lot of faith that Duffy will come back and perform well, but I don’t have a lot of faith that’ll be in 2013. Control is the last thing to come back when returning from TJ surgery and Duffy already struggled with that a bit. Duffy will likely be a very good pitcher, but he’s going to walk a ton upon his return.
  • The concept of Jeff Francoeur becoming a member of a team isn’t as far fetched as it might sound because teams looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder are actually among some of the richer teams in the league. Philadelphia and New York both could use a guy who can hit lefties, and neither really needs to balk at a salary approaching $7 million, so maybe somehow a deal can be consummated and the Royals can get out from under that deal for 2013.
  • I’m pretty frustrated with hearing how the Royals will have to move a contract if they want to take on any more salary with a starting pitcher, and the frustration does not stem from a budget that I think should be higher than it is. It’s that the second year on a couple deals has come back to bite the Royals square on the caboose, which is exactly what many people argued when Francoeur and Chen both got two-year deals last off-season. While many people argue that it isn’t our money, so we shouldn’t complain, I think it’s safe to say that those contracts, totaling over $12 million in salary for the 2013 season may be a reason why the Royals will have to give up talent for that third pitcher rather than just shopping the free agent market for another pitcher like a Brandon McCarthy. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, free agency can be a cruel mistress, so maybe it’s for the best. Though I’m really going to hate seeing some of this young offensive talent go to another team even though I recognize it has to for the Royals to succeed.
  • On November 23, 2012 with the roster constructed as it is currently, I see no way for the team to compete in the American League Central. That said, if you squint a little and envision a couple of moves, I think it’s not out of the realm of possibility. They need one more pitcher, and that will possibly come from trading a guy like Eric Hosmer, which sucks, but it has to be done (that goes back to not developing anybody). Then it goes to the aforementioned dumping of a certain right fielder’s contract. Then it goes toward picking up some offensive reinforcement by way of a short-term free agent deal with a veteran. You look up and a rotation with someone like James Shields heading it and an offense featuring Alex Gordon, Billy Butler and someone like a Kevin Youkilis getting on base and this team looks like it might be able to make some noise. Of course, the moves need to be made or else we’re staring down the barrel of anything between 68 and 76 wins. There’s still time, and like I said above, the best part of the off-season is getting closer and closer. It’ll hopefully be an exciting time for the Royals.

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 (19)

  • DownUnderFan

    Glass Economics – The Glass is already full.

    By my calculations using Cot’s Baseball Contracts, projected arbitration salaries for Paulino, Hochevar, Gutierrez and Getz and the remaining 40 man roster signed at $550k to $600k each (depending on service and ~$70k increase over last season), the Royals are now committed to roughly $76.7M for 2013.

    If the limit is $75M as oft mentioned, that means nothing left for another free agent pitcher unless as Moore stated, the Royals move a higher paid player or players.

    Clear choices are Francoeur ($6.75M), Chen ($4.5M) and Hochevar (projected $4.4M). Moving one might make room for Villenueva but little else unless they get someone like McCarthy on a back loaded deal like Guthrie.

    The best option is still a 4 or 5 for 2 player swap that dumps salary and brings in young, cheap but effective pitching like Hanson, Minor, Hellickson, Moore or Cobb. Even Price is over the budget limit although Glass might stretch it a little if Price could be had in trade.

    By the way, moving Myers also does nothing to reduce salary as he is not part of the official roster.

    Another lesson in the economics of baseball brought to you by David and Dan Glass.

  • DownUnderFan

    I still think the best trade is Hosmer to Tampa. He can play at home and the Royals can easily replace his offense with a combo of Butler plus Youklis, Hafner, Berkman, or Thome at first and DH. Could also give CRob a fair shot in spring training. My best two shots are Hosmer, Cain, Adcock and Bueno for Price and Cobb or Hosmer, DRob, Teaford and Bueno for Hellickson and Cobb.

  • DownUnderFan

    There is nothing in Seattle to help KC. The last thing they need is another “prospect” pitcher and no Mariners current starters meet KCs budget, service time or value for money. Likewise in Arizona where there is not enough experience to judge or too much salary to fit the budget. The worst trade would be with Oakland as Moore is no match for Billy Beane and will get taken to the cleaners. The best two options are Moore’s favorite Atlanta or Tampa Bay where Hanson, Minor, Shields, Price, Hellickson, Moore and Cobb are all capable starters although Shields also does not fit the Royals budget.

  • kcShogun

    i definitely wouldn’t trade any of our ML ready young players (hoz, myers, moose, etc) for a James Shields-type pitcher, who has 2 yrs left at $10 and $12 mil. i would cut Billy loose first…..he doesn’t play defense and his salary is getting fairly high. $8 mil the next two years and $12 mil the 3rd yr. Myers would be at league min for the next 3+ years and controllable for the next 3 after that. we have myers for the next 7 years basically.

    another reason i wait to acquire a #1 SP via trade is because we need to see if our offense can absorb the loss of a .320/.400/30hr/100rbi player. Myers, Hoz, Moose, etc will need to improve…..we can then find a player to fill in the DH spot.

  • kcShogun

    like i said, there was another report out there…..seattle newspaper i think. it’s been a few days and have been drinking a lot. i concur with your take on the Bleacher Report, but it’s still a report and sometimes other people dont think the exact same thing as the next person. maybe Seattle over-values Butler??? i just hate trading all this talent we’ve FINALLY acquired. with about $16-17 million in wasted players, i really think we should cut bait with them somehow (trade them along with a top 10 prospect of value for a mediocre return – just a salary dump type trade) and pickup a FA pitcher on a 1-2 yr deal. then at the break, we can make a BIG trade for a #1 ace or potential ace pitcher. just don’t feel like we need to trade A hosmer, myers, butler etc at this point. Matt Moore is about the only pitcher i would trade myers or hosmer for….he has a great contract and is a stud. we need just TWO of our prospects to develop. Duffy, Lamb/Odorizzi/Zimmer, Moore, Guthrie and a FA for 2014 opening day rotation.

  • unclejesse

    The Royals have the amazing ability with the piss poor season the Chiefs are throwing out there, to reestablish themselves as a true sports franchise in KC this offseason. The question is going to be are they willing to throw around some money on real players in hopes of getting some former fans back in the stadium. KC fans are some of the best in the land when given even a little something to cheer about.

  • DownUnderFan

    One further comment, that you did not touch on.

    Given the attitude of Chiefs fans in recent weeks and the fact only one Dayton Moore team has broken the 73 win mark (<90 losses) along with DM's blind faith in Yost, I see 2013 as a make or break season. If the Royals come out with a first half like 2012, Yost will be gone and it is likely that Glass will feel the pressure to send Moore with him. In many eyes, that is not a bad thing. KC fans cannot chose their owner but they can make it very difficult for that owner to stick with their management cadre in the face of constant losing.

  • DownUnderFan

    Excellent assessment, David.

    I am a Mendoza backer for two years now. But as long as Yost is manager, he will never see a fair chance. His best hope is to go via trade to Atlanta with Cain for Hanson or Minor and Teheran or Delgado. That helps Luis and both teams.

    You are correct, Guthrie for 2013 at $5M is a steal. The real question is if the contract includes a no-trade clause. My bigger fear is that Santana will not survive 2013 uninjured.

    The chances of Moore offloading Frenchy or Chen this winter are limited. But then again, I said the same about Sanchez. Who knows, there is always a sucker out there if you work hard enough.

    You have my thoughts on trading Hosmer for Hellickson, Price or Moore. I would throw in Adcock, Bueno and DRob and go for a double down including Cobb. Hosmer is from Florida. And no reason a Youklis, Hafner, or Berkman could not double with Butler at 1st, giving the same offense. I keep hearing about Hosmer’s defense but in watching games last year, I saw a lot more mistakes and ‘ole glove swings than I would have liked.

    All in all an excellent assessment. Keep up the good work.

  • mungakc

    you said enough – amen on Bleacher Report; it’s about as reliable as a 10 day advance weather report or a poll the day before the presidential election! Today is obviously not a “work” day – Mark U.

  • David Lesky

    I’m going to try to avoid saying too much here, but Bleacher Report is not a reputable source for anything on any topic ever.

  • kcShogun

    nah, i found part of one…….the below is directly from a Seattle M’s blogger for Bleacher Report…

    “Billy (Country Breakfast) Butler is a middle-of-the-order fan favorite with three years remaining on a reasonable contract for a team that really can’t afford to ship him away for prospects. Meanwhile the Mariners would likely need to sacrifice one everyday player (later in the story mentioned that it would be a younger version of Billy; Jesus Montero) and at least two of their top five prospects.”

    Billy is a hot commodity….a true RH stud hitter with a good contract. now we probably can’t get Walker + Hultzman + Montero. but maybe Walker + Montero + top 20pitcher. or Hultzman + Paxton + top 10 hitting prospect? we’d have to throw in more than Billy though. we hold the leverage IMO…..why dont we just cut some of the salary (frenchy, chen?, hochevar = $16 mil or so) and sign a McCarthy to a 1-2yr deal. we can wait til the deadline to make a BIG move.

  • kcShogun

    shit maybe i was dreaming. i haven’t seen a trade possibility like that… could see why i favored it. ha. let me see if i can find the article….

  • mungakc

    Either KCshogun read that trade possibility in the cartoon section of the Seattle paper or Super Tramp had him in mind when they recorded “Dreamer”!

  • kcShogun

    its what i read in the seattle newspaper. the mariners aren’t the brightest bulbs….this is exactly what they mentioned….save Frenchy. they said for Butler + somebody else i can’t remember who now….they would give Montero + 2 top 5 prospects. doesn’t hurt to ask. i’d rather us dump the dead weight….anyway possible and add a starter thru FA. then at trade deadline make a move for a legit #1 starter. we have several guys waiting…Lamb, Zimmer, Selmon, Monty, Ventura, Adam, Duffy, Marks, Smith, etc, etc, etc. sign McCarthy to a 2yr deal.

    so i’d throw in our former #1 prospect (monty) to get a fresh start plus billy butler. i’d be happy with Montero + Walker + 2B prospect or Montero + 2 top 10 pitching prospects. if they go for that i’d be all in.

    i do NOT want the royals to trade with Tampa Bay…..we will get OWNED in that transaction.

  • David Lesky

    So you want the Mariners to take on Billy Butler, an overpaid and underproducing right fielder and a prospect getting closer and closer to bustville for a legitimate top prospect, a young player who was a shade below average offensively as a 22 year-old plus two top 10 prospects? Why would the Mariners do that?

  • kcShogun

    i’d rather us cut loose (trade) Frenchy $6.75mil, non-tender Hochevar ($4.5 mil), possibly move Chen as part of a package ($4.5 mil) = $15.75 million roughly.

    i would LOVE to keep our current young players intact for the next 3-4 years. if we could do the above player transactions, we’d have plenty of money for a 2yr deal to a McCarthy or equal. that 2 years gives us plenty of time to see what Lamb, Zimmer, Duffy, Monty, Y.Ventura, J.Marks, W.Smith, etc, etc will have.

    the ONLY trade i would like would be….

    Butler + Frenchy + Montgomery to Seattle Mariners
    T.Walker + J.Montero + top 10 pitcher + top 10 position player

    this helps us in a couple ways. helps ease the move of Butler from the DH position. he can be our primary DH and backup Catcher and 1B. it also gives us one of the best pitching prospects in the game – a true #1 potential ace starter and 2 other players that help fill a need at 2B and/or 3B.

    this helps cut our salary at the same time by a TON. we could make this move AND go after a #2 type FA pitcher. to me this is the perfect scenario.

  • mungakc

    Point well taken – I was looking at angles how fans might look at the contract within context (it almost always disturbs me how front office/ownership look at it!). Cheers, Mark

  • David Lesky

    That would look better, you’re right, but it’s not a legitimate argument in my opinion. The reason the salary is so cheap for 2013 is to fit in other bad contracts already on the books. And even if it was just a different way of structuring the contract for no other reason than to do it, it’s not like the Royals are putting aside $3 million this year and then will go get it again in 2015 to pay the contract.

  • mungakc

    David, in order to feel a bit better about that year three of Guthrie’s contract, you need to balance it against year one (think “pay it forward”). If you added $3 mill to year one and lopped it off of the $9 mill owed in year three, things would look more palatable. $8 mill at age 33/34 and $6 mill at age 35/36 doesn’t sound nearly as bad, especially when you’re looking at paying that $6 mill in ’15 dollars. Granted, we’re then talking about paying an additional $3 mill in ’13 dollars, but again, very few would argue with that year one investment.

    Here are a couple of other possibilities; Guthrie actually maintains his “stuff” or shows very small erosion, which makes $9 mill in ’15 a reasonable contract, in what will most likely be an inflated market for SP’s with additional $’s driven by national network contracts. What if 2 or more of Lamb/Duffy/Paulino/Odorizzi/Ventura/Zimmer/Montgomery blossom in year ’14? It means someone else is chewing on the $9 mill in a trade/dump, if moved in July of ’14 or fall/winter dealings.

    Yes, it’s also a possibility that Guthrie regresses badly or collapses and the $9 mill looks like an anchor wrapped around the Royals’ neck, but such is the risk/reward equation. From my view, investing $’s in FA pitchers in order to hold onto prospects for a trade for a front-line starter is their best route to immediate contender status – now they just need to finish the deal!

    Thanks for continuing your posts – Mark U.

    PS – I’d love to hear your comments.

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