As the baseball world convenes in San Diego, Royals fans are wondering just where in San Diego Dayton Moore is hanging out at this moment.
The big news of the first day was the continuing Oakland fire sale with Billy Beane attempting to get back at Kansas City by selling off Brandon Moss to the Indians and Jeff Samardzija to the White Sox. The Central is getting better. The Royals saw their opening a year earlier and made their mark, now the Indians and Sox are positioning themselves to break through into October. If we learned anything from 2014, it’s that while the Tigers may be vunerable, you don’t have to knock them from their perch to make an impact in the postseason.
Meanwhile, the Royals have been barely in the news. Reports are they met with Melky Cabrera’s representatives on Monday evening, but the current smart money has Cabrera cashing checks in the Pacific Northwest over the next four to five summers. If they lose out to Cabrera, they may turn to Colby Rasmus. Rasmus hit .225/.287/.448 in 376 plate appearances for the Blue Jays last year and produced a 0.6 fWAR. He’s produced over 4 fWAR a couple of times in his career and at 28 years old, represents an intriguing option. Estimates I’ve seen have him getting anywhere between one to three years at an average annual value of around $10 million. But Rasmus is a left-handed bat. The Royals really need some pop (relatively speaking, this is the Royals) from the right side of the plate.
The Royals were also mentioned in the hunt for Justin Masterson. He’s an intriguing buy low candidate who could be had on a one-year deal as he attempts to rebuild some value. He was abysmal last year for the Indians and then the Cardinals. So bad that St. Louis bundled him off to the bullpen for their stretch run. Although to be fair, he pitched with knee issues for most of the year. He’s supposed to be healthy, so he’s a guy who could fill out the rotation. Notice I said “fill out the rotation” which is different from saying he could be a replacement for James Shields. There is most definitely a difference.
Your humorous rumor of the day was the Braves response to when the Royals inquired on Evan Gattis. Allegedly the Braves responded by asking for Yordano Ventura. I’ll give you a moment to stop laughing.
*Looks at watch.*
Yeah, I almost tore an oblique muscle when I heard that one. But this is the Hot Stove and there’s no shame in setting a high price out of the chute. It’s negotiation after all. Or maybe it’s the Braves way of letting the Royals know they’re not really interested in dealing Gattis. Whatever the thought process, it looks like Gattis isn’t going to be moved in the near future.
Tuesday, the Jon Lester sweepstakes is supposed to draw to a merciful close. When that happens, expect the floodgates to open and the pitching dominoes start to fall. Did I mix a metaphor there? Welcome to the Hot Stove.