It s been quiet at the K, but that s to be expected. With little room left in the budget – and little affordable quality on the market – there s really nothing to do but wait.
This seems to be the Dayton Moore way. He likes to strike early, make a free agent signing or two at the Winter Meetings and then sit back and make a move or two close to spring training. Personally, I wish he wouldn t act so fast right out of the gate (i.e. the Jacobs trade last year and the Fields/Getz deal this year) but that s just the way he is. I kind of like the boldness of jumping right out of the gate, but it obviously didn t work last year. We ll see how it goes this summer, but I have my doubts.
As Moore points out, there will still be plenty of talent available when camps open in February. The basic economic laws of supply and demand tell us that the longer a free agent remains on the market, the lower his price will drop. At least it s supposed to work that way. I m currently working on an article for The Hardball Times examining what the lower payroll teams are doing to their teams this off season and a majority are hanging back, waiting for the prices to drop. However, with a number of teams playing the waiting game, I wonder if those prices will drop as much as some GMs expect. It s conceivable we could see bidding wars for those second and third tier free agents in mid February as teams scramble to fill the final holes in the roster.
It s certainly a drag to have to wait when your team s top moves have been a no-hit catcher, a potential power hitter with no position and a weak hitting second baseman. It would be a hell of a lot more fun if the Royals had been able to splash the cash on a real free agent once again. Even a bust like Jose Guillen. He s much more interesting than Jason Kendall.
A couple of links to tide you over through the weekend
Kevin Appier garnered one Hall of Fame vote. I suspect Kaegel. Daniel Moroz on how Appier was a better pitcher than Jack Morris.
A lot of teams are stockpiling pitchers by signing assorted arms to minor league contracts with spring training invites. As Matt Klaassen points out, the Indians are grabbing some bats on similar minor league deals.
Former Royals catcher Brent Mayne on the Cardinals signing Matt Holliday. Key line: I m pretty sure the Cards outbid the Cards by about 30 mill. Love it.