The process was vindicated, sort of and belatedly, with the Royals run to the post-season and almost, dammit ALMOST, to a World Series championship.  I think that might be giving the word ‘vindication’ a bit of short stick, but it does or at least did for a while make Dayton Moore look like he knew what he was doing.

We are going to find out just how much luck and how much ‘process’ was involved in the very fun 2014 season soon enough.  So, if Dayton Moore really is smarter than us:

  • Kendrys Morales will do post something akin to his .277/.336/.449 line of 2013 (that included 34 doubles and 23 home runs). I’ll be honest, this contract is the one I hate the most, but he was better in the near past – certainly that excludes 2014 – than my feeble memory originally believed.  Look, this is a ‘is Dayton Moore smarter than you’ column, not a ‘Dayton Moore is a wizard’ column.  Asking any more from Morales than he what he did for Seattle two seasons ago is simply not realistic.  I’m not sure it’s realistic to even expect that, but certainly Moore does.
  • Aaron Crow will never start a game for the Florida Marlins.  Listen, this is not about wishing ill on Crow.  Frankly, I liked his comments about being left off the post-season roster.  Tell me again why anyone would want players in their organization that didn’t care about that?  Anyway, god forbid Crow starts 18 games next year for the Marlins with middling results:  Dayton Moore would never trade a reliever again.
  • Alex Rios will do what Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur did in 2011 for the Royals:  i.e. salvage his career. I think there is at least a 50% chance that Rios pulls a ‘Juan Gonzalez’ on us, but I do believe Rios sees 2015 as his chance to get that one last big contract. Again, Rios may be done physically and that will be that.  However, his past shows a player who might not always give you his undivided attention….Okay, let’s just say it:  I think Rios is a slacker who lives off a reputation that exceeds what he has actually produced.  That said, the idea that he could turn one year and $11 million into three more years and another $30 million would certainly motivate a traditionally hard to motivate player.  Now, as long as Dayton Moore is not the one that gives out three years…..
  • Edinson Volquez…..Eh, what do you want here?  Volquez had not been as good (i.e. lucky) as he was in 2014 since his rookie 2008 season.  In between those years, you have numbers that make you say ‘damn, I DO like that Jeremy Guthrie’.  Dayton Moore is smarter than us if Volquez, benefiting from only have to throw five innings due to the Royals’ once again fantastic bullpen, spins a nice half year for the Royals and is traded in July to make room for Kyle Zimmer.
  • Kris Medlen comes back in late June, pitches with dominance out of the bullpen for two months and then wins six straight starts down the stretch (or something like that). Does that make Moore smarter than any of use?  Maybe not, because that’s what we are all hoping in some fashion and the contract is one that hopes the exact same thing.  Of all that has happened, this is the move everyone loves and everyone should.  Even North Korean hackers should like this move.

Odds?  I like the Crow trade and Medlen signing (big leap there) and let me go on record by saying one of Morales or Rios (not sure which) probably will surprise with us with positive production.  I have no reason to be, but yet I am optimistic on Medlen.  Listen, if you are going to take a chance on a two-time Tommy John guy, do it with a pitcher who was very, very good before it all happened.   None of that, in my opinion, gets the Royals back to the playoffs.

Of course, if Dayton Moore really is smarter than us (or just plain luckier), than Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer will spend the 2015 regular season playing as they did in the 2014 post-season.  That, my friends, is what will get the Royals back to the playoffs.