Dayton didn’t spend Thanksgiving on the beach. He had his own baseball version of Black Friday. Things happened. Not huge things like 50 inch televisions for $200. But things. Let’s recap and look at a few of those.
The Royals re-signed Jason Frasor.
Kansas City will pay Frasor $1.25 million for his services in 2015. And it wouldn’t be a Royals contract without a mutual option for the following year. That option contains a $550,000 buyout. Reports are also there are several incentives in the contract that could be worth another $500,000. So, let’s just say Frasor is going to get paid around $2 million next year.
The 37 year old right-hander strikes out around 23 percent of all batters faced and walks just above 10 percent in his career. He’s had a few ups and downs as relievers will, but his numbers have an air of consistency about them.
It’s a good deal for the Royals to bring him back and at a cost he can certainly justify. That 10 percent walk rate I mentioned above will be the key stat to watch going forward. His worst seasons have been when he’s finished with a worse than career average rate. That’s not exactly going out on a limb, but when you face as few batters as a short reliever like Frasor does, it’s imperative he keep the base runners to a minimum.
With Frasor in the fold for 2015, the Royals quickly made another move…
The Royals traded Aaron Crow to the Marlins for Bryan Flynn and Reid Redman.
Let’s be real. Crow punched his ticket out of Kansas City when he made those remarks about not being on the post season rosters. I defended his right to say those things at the time, and I’m still OK with what he said. However, knowing the type of guy Dayton Moore is, it’s not surprising at all Crow found himself exiled from KC.
Crow’s velocity was down across the board in 2014. He lost a whopping three mph off his fastball and lost two mph on his sinker. And for some reason, he threw his four-seamer more than ever. The result was a 14 percent strikeout rate, down from 25 percent just two years prior. That’s not going to work for a reliever in today’s baseball.
The former first round draft pick of the Royals in 2009, Crow has to be labeled as a bust. He’s doesn’t even own the highest WAR among relief pitchers drafted by the Royals in ’09, if you’re into that sort of thing. That honor goes to Louis Coleman who has a 0.6 career fWAR compared to a 0.3 fWAR for Crow. When Crow was drafted, he was selected as a starting pitcher but never made a start for the Royals in the majors.
By the way, if you want to worry about the future, look at the list of players drafted in 2009. Just start there. It’s not a good look.
Meanwhile, the Royals were still involved on the rumor mill…
Those Torii Hunter rumors won’t die.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 30, 2014
That tweet makes it sound like Minnesota is on the outside. I always thought of them as frontrunners. It’s the Hot Stove. What the hell does anyone know? Then there was a link to the Royals and Kendrys Morales.
indians, royals, rangers taking a look at kendrys morales. mariners, jays among other possibilities.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 30, 2014
OK. Stop. Please. I beg you.
First, the Royals let Billy Butler, a better hitter at this point than Morales, walk because they want to use some sort of revolving DH. You don’t sign Morales if that’s truly your strategy.
Second, Morales hasn’t been good since his horrific leg injury that caused him to miss a season and a half. Injury aside, it’s become increasingly obvious that the 2009 season where he hit .306/.355/.569 was an outlier. He’s never come within 80 points of that slugging percentage.
Third, he turns 32 next year. He hit .216 against fastballs last year. His ISO was a career low .120. Sure, it hurt he didn’t get into a game until June. It wasn’t as if he got off to a slow start and gradually got warm. He was in cold storage for most of the year.
So you have a player who has no position, struggled with the bat in 2014, and is clearly on the downside of his career. Pass. And when reacting to tweetable rumors, remember the source. In this case, it’s Heyman who seemingly helps advance the cases of Scott Boras clients. Of course it makes sense for Boras to float myriad teams to drum up interest after the DH market has kind of sorted itself out early in the hot stove. With Victor Martinez recommitting to Detroit and Butler going to Oakland, Morales is the next best DH candidate available. If you’re looking for a DH-only candidate. Which most teams are not doing.
I’ve seen estimates for Morales at anywhere from $6 million to $10 million a season. Most of those estimates peg him at a one or two year deal.
I just can’t see the Royals biting at this one.