Rumors and Rumblings Day Three of the Winter Meetings
The rumors yesterday set the Royals Twitterverse on fire yet nothing happened just like the previous two days.
Ryan Dempster 3/39 – The former Cubs right-hander will be 36 years old next season. Â If you lined up his 2012 against Jeremy Guthrie it reads quite a bit better but in the reverse. Â For the first half of ’12 he looked like a Cy Young candidate putting together a 2.25 ERA while allowing under a hit per inning and striking out 7.2 per 9 (down fr previous seasons). Â Then a trade to the not so friendly confines of Arlington stadium turned a very good season into 10 HR in 69 innings and a 5.09 ERA in that short time.
Dempster is 36 ! Â Hello you are going to give your supposed #1 starter $13M per year for his age 36, 37 and 38 seasons. Â Remember what the Royals want out of their #1 folks, they want a guy to give them 200+ innings and grind through jams while giving the bullpen some relief. Â That’s not exactly how you should be treating an older pitcher.
James Shields + prospect(s) for Wil Myers – According to Bob Dutton if the Rays would back away from the additional prospects this would be a done deal. Â The Rays right-hander has put up back to back solid seasons looking on paper to be a solid #2 playing in one of the leagues best parks and in front of the leagues best defense. Â Take Shields out of that park and his ERA jumped a run in ’11 and a over a 1/2 of a run in ’12. Â His career road ERA is 4.54, to put that in perspective Jeremy Guthrie as pitched to the opposite during his career working in Camden and Rockies stadium. Â His road ERA is 4.05 for his career.
The Royals appear to have a top notch defense with Escobar, Moose, Gordon and Hosmer as the anchors but the metrics hate Hosmer and killed Escobar in ’12. Â If those numbers ring true then Shields takes a hit in defense and park meaning we’ll likely get a fringe 2 or #3 starter in return. Â The other thing to remember is Shields is on a 2 year deal and isn’t likely to sign an extension given what older pitchers are drawing on the free agent market. Â If that is the case then take a look at a bleak scenario, Â Royals have improved but remain a few games over .500 team in 2014 while the Tigers continue to bash their way to plenty of victories and are 10 games ahead at the All Star break. Â What do the Royals do? Â You and I know what they do, they shop Shields and flip him before losing him via free agency. Â That scenario is just one reason why the Royals shouldn’t flip a player they have cheap for 6+ years of control for a guy they would have for a max of two years.
Rule 5 Draft – The Royals have quite a few guys that could be taken in the Rule 5. Â Teams could look at lefties Jon Keck or Buddy Bauman as relief types that could hang on or could checkout right side relievers Patrick Keating, Tim Melville, Angel Baez or Robinson Yambati. Â To get a little more info on the draft checkout the latest podcast with JJ Cooper that I posted on our site or Baseball America’s Rule 5 podcast they posted yesterday.
I spent much of yesterday defending Dayton Moore on twitter on the basis of the great contracts the Royals have with Alex Gordon, Sal Perez, Billy Butler and Alcides Escobar. Â Those are great reasons to love what Dayton has done on top of the rebuild of the farm system but if the Royals ship Wil Myers out for 2 years of a pitcher then they could be putting up for auction the future of everything they’ve built. Â It stands prior to 2013 that the Royals have no clue what Hosmer, Moose, Perez or Cain are just yet.