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Two days into the Winter Meetings and it feels to be unfolding pretty much as we expected… Let’s break these down.

A few Zack Greinke rumors – but nothing of substance.

The Rangers remain the front runner for the Royals ace, but the Blue Jays have emerged as a potential dark horse.  Both teams have the prospects and the payroll flexibility to add Greinke, it’s just a matter of bending enough to the Royals demands.  Which are obviously (and deservedly) huge.  Personally, I’m intrigued by what the Blue Jays have to offer in Kyle Drabek and Travis Snider.  So, too, are the Royals.

The big market teams (in other words, the Yankees) seem to have cooled – or where they ever truly interested?  More and more it sounds like the whole “Greinke would waive his no-trade clause for the Yankees” scenario was someone from the Grienke camp just trying to widen the playing field.  Or it could have been someone from the Royals, trying to drive up the market demand.  Hmmm… It’s all so devious.  And awesome.

From the “out of left field category,” apparently the Nationals have kicked the tires.  When not blowing the markets for outfielders or for aging starting catchers way out of proportion, it appears they like to dabble in just some bizarre discussions.  Not unlike their desire for Cliff Lee.  At this point, they just seem like that only active team in that lame fantasy league… They covet everyone and will attach their name to just about every rumor floating out there.  I wish I had an “ignore” button.

Meanwhile I’ve seen comments here and on Twitter about how it would be crazy for the Royals to deal Greinke.  I still disagree.  Always have, always will.  The only way the Royals can’t afford to deal their star pitcher this winter is if they can get together and find out a way to hash out another contract extension.  With a hometown discount.  Obviously, that’s what I’d prefer, but it seems like a longshot.  Still, the guy is a stud and I’d love nothing more than to have him in Royal blue for the prime years of his career.  Which would hopefully coincide with the pending onslaught of young talent and the raising of multiple pennants on the outfield flagpoles.  However, the thought of returning two or three quality prospects for one ace would be almost too good to pass up.  It should be too good.  As Dutton reports, the Royals are looking for an Adrian Gonzalez like return.  And Gonzalez was on the market last winter, but wasn’t traded as the Padres held firm in their asking price.  An MVP calibre season later, and San Diego did quite well.

The latest has the Royals holding firm to their asking price and the vultures potential trade partners are waiting for the price to drop.  Not. Going. To. Happen. Then came word that teams were slowly increasing their bids.  And the Dodgers have entered the mix.  The good news is, the price can only increase this winter.  Especially if GMDM can wait until after the Lee deal gets done.  And the price will elevate especially if Lee scores the rumored seven years.

Probably the best thing for the Royals is if some mystery team nabs Lee and the original Greinke suitors scramble and panic.  That would be a very good thing.  Another interesting potential development is the Royals could be willing to send Greinke to a team within the division.  Again, this is good to hear as it opens the potential market up by four more teams.  (More like three teams as Cleveland won’t be involved.  You can’t have Lebron and you can’t have Greinke.) More competition for the ace, the better the offers will be for the Royals.  Of course, the worst case scenario is Greinke goes to a division rival, signs an extension and torments the Royals during what should be the Great Awakening of 2014.  I’ll worry about that when it happens.

The Francoeur Sweepstakes – Heating Up

I cackled (seriously, cackled) with glee when Jeff Francoeur was mentioned in a rumor as a possibility for Philadelphia.  Do it, Philly.  Then I heard the Royals were seeking a right handed bat for the outfield.

Seriously, this just reeks of inevitability. I think the only thing holding up the deal is Frenchy is just waiting to see if there’s some other team desperate enough to make a play.  The Royals have probably had an offer on the table for weeks (or years?) and GMDM likes the guy enough, so he’s letting him take his time.

However, I really like what GMDM had to say to Dutton on Monday – where he doesn’t want to sign a free agent that quits on the team in June.  Cough… Ankiel… Cough.  The Ankiel comparison is a fair one here though and should be a concern.  If Francoeur spurns a team like Philadelphia for a team like the Royals, he would essentially be going for an everyday role over a chance to win.  That rarely works well… In either case.

Desperately Seeking Right-Handed Bats

So the Royals want somebody who hits from the right side of the plate.  Available names are Matt Diaz, Melky Cabrera, Andruw Jones and Francoeur.  Can we just change the name of the team to the Kansas City Braves, Western Branch?

Of the four, I’d go for Diaz first, but he’s a strict platoon guy.  He just can’t hit right-handed pitching.  He’s a .269/.327/.382 hitter against RHP while he bats .335/.373/.533 in his career against left-handers.  Naturally, the Pirates signed him to a two year deal.  Hmmmm…

For my second choice… There is no second choice.  The remaining three could form Satan’s Outfield for all I know.  If those are the options, we’re better off going all lefties because the money it will take to secure one of those guys (and I’m thinking around $3 million is in the ballpark) you’d be better off just throwing that cash off the roof of O’Dowd’s.

“Next Year Is The Beginning Of The Process.”

I don’t know if Ned Yost realizes how loaded that statement is.  Still, if you want your Spring Training Burst of Sunshine two months early, check out Dutton’s latest dispatch from Disney.  If Yost and the team are talking (and feeling) like this in December, I can’t imagine how it’s going to be in February and March.

Slow day at the meetings.  I’m sure things will pick up over the next couple of days.

The last time the Royals had a truly elite level player out on the open market, it was Carlos Beltran.  They traded him, after all the dust settled, for Chris Getz.

Okay, that is truly funky analysis, I know.   In between Mark Teahen being traded for Getz and Josh Fields (and Fields subsequently being non-tendered), the Royals did get 90 home runs and 700 games out of John Buck.   They also got basically league average OPS+ for another 750 games from Teahen and, heck, even Mike Wood gave the club some adequate moments here and there.   Still, when you trade an elite player, you would like his long term impact on your organization to be something more than an unproven 27 year old second baseman.

So, as the Winter Meetings open today, and the Zack Greinke trade speculation really kicks into high gear, Dayton Moore finds himself with an elite level pitcher in a market basically devoid of said type.   Whether directly or indirectly or, for that matter, whether accurate or not, the public perception is that Greinke would like to be traded.   He was also a guy who, quite frankly, spent a portion of the 2010 season in a disinterested state of mind (who among us can say otherwise?!).

Saddled with those negatives, Moore can point to a load of positives as he heads into the treacherous trade waters.   First off, Greinke is young and just one season removed from one of the more dominating pitching seasons of the last fifteen years.   His talent is undeniable and Greinke’s contract is team friendly through the 2012 season.  Truthfully, if you put Zack Greinke on a contending team, it would be a surprise if he was anything but focuses and ultra-competitive.  

In a market where Jayson Werth gets seven years and $126 million, what sort of value does Greinke hold?   I will guarantee you it is well above the $27 million is he scheduled to earn over the next two seasons.

So, if you are Dayton Moore, what is the realistic return for Zack Greinke?   In the past several years, we have seen the likes of Johan Santana, C.C. Sabathia, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee all traded – Lee three time actually, so the return on an ace pitcher is not exactly a mystery.     On the Royals’ side, they have the advantage of having Greinke under contract for longer and a younger age than any of the other aces that were moved.   Sabathia was basically the same age when Cleveland traded him to Milwaukee, but had just half a season left on his deal.

I have done a couple of columns on some of the ‘ace’ trades before and you can easily get the details on each by heading over to Baseball Reference and pulling up the individual player pages and draw your own conclusions.   That said, here is a rough idea of what would be a realistic return on a Greinke trade:

  • This Offseason – Three Top Five prospects (one of which is major league ready now) and one high risk/high ceiling secondary prospect.   It is very possible that the ‘one major league ready’ prospect could actually be an actual major league player and still get two additional Top Five prospects plus the secondary guy.  I think that scenario demands some sort of contract extension being worked out with Zack as part of the trade.
  • July, 2011 – In my mind, losing half a season of control over Greinke is equal to losing one prospect, but maybe just the high risk/high reward type player.   Probably you still get three Top Five types.
  • Off-Season 2011 – This is problematical.   If the Royals are horrible in 2011, the idea that they have to trade Greinke will be rampant throughout baseball.   The club also runs the risk of Zack having another ‘okay, but not great’ season.   Of course, the Royals could have a strong second half with some of their young guys up and playing well and realistically talk about keeping Greinke for 2012 and maybe beyond.   I would say the haul is likely to be three Top Ten prospects at this point.
  • July 2012 – Are the Royals any good at this point or not?   Are they close enough to being good to convince Greinke to sign a new contract?   Which Zack is pitching at this point, version 2009 or version 2010?    Those questions point out the gamble of waiting on Greinke.

It is possible that Zack Greinke is worth more in the future than he is right now, but it is equally possible he could be worth less.  Truth is the Royals will emerge from this week’s meetings knowing exactly what Zack is worth right now.   If that ‘worth’ is enough to the pull the trigger, then avoiding the risk of holding onto Greinke and dealing with all the variables that might present themselves in the future is the safest bet.

Now, back to the Beltran deal.   If the Royals trade Zack this winter, the absolutely must parlay that return into the type of return that will have a positive impact on the organization for years.   At minimum, the club needs the following out of the Greinke package:

  • A pitcher that will be a legitimate top three member of the starting rotation.  Plus, an ace must emerge from either this pitcher, or someone from the group of  Mike Montgomery, John Lamb, Danny Duffy, Chris Dwyer and Aaron Crow.   Further, another member of this group of five plus the ‘new guy’, also has to be a top three type pitcher.    Basically, I’m saying that from the five pitchers already in the organization plus the top end prospect gained from the trade, must account for the top three spots in the Royals’ rotation by 2013 and occupy those top three spots legitimately (i.e. be top three pitchers on pretty much any staff, not just Kansas City’s).
  • One of the positional prospects acquired has to become a good, maybe even great, everyday player.     I am looking for the ‘Grady Sizemore’ guy in the Bartolo Colon trade. 
  • Another prospect has to become a ‘above league average’ everyday player.

Frankly, as you look at the Colon trade back in 2002, the Royals almost have to get a Cliff Lee, a Grady Sizemore and a Brandon Phillips for it to ‘feel’ like a win.   That is asking a lot from a GM who has not always had the greatest of luck in the trade market.   Truthfully, I am not sure there has ever been quite a prospect for pitcher trade as great as the Colon move and it is probably unwise to hold whatever the Royals do with Greinke to that standard.

Still, the Royals need to aim high, but not stupid high at the Winter Meetings.   There is a lot of risk and uncertainty going forward with Greinke and taking a chance on hitting a Colon-type lottery is probably Dayton Moore’s best move.   It might not be popular and it might completely blow up in the organization’s face, but there might not be a better market for Greinke than there is right now.

Hold on everyone, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

You know the saying…

Specifically, I’m referring to all the rumors currently swirling around Zack Greinke.  New wrinkles keep popping up all the time.  The latest is from Yahoo Sports and Kansas City-based writer Jeff Passan who revealed this in his latest missive:

Though Greinke has a no-trade clause in his contract that includes the Yankees and other big-market teams, a source close to the right-hander suggested he would happily pitch anywhere that would provide a winning team.

“I wouldn’t put it past him to go to New York,” the source said. “I don’t think he’d rule out anybody. He says he likes New York. Especially because they’re winners. He wants to go to a team that wins.

Obviously, there are two camps of Royals fans.  On one side, you have a group of fans who think .500 baseball is a realistic possibility in 2011, followed by the AL Central title in 2012.  These are the fans who consider Greinke an integral part of The Process and are not willing to part with the ace no matter the return.

On the other side you have those who buy into Mellinger’s Project 2012.  The theory that the pipeline of minor league talent will begin filtering into Kansas City with an eye further down the road for contention.  Young players take time to acclimate and mature into big league players.  Success isn’t immediate and by the time the young nucleus is ready to win, Greinke will be a distant memory so it makes sense to deal him now and add to what is shaping up as the inevitable Royal Baby Boom.

Frequent visitors of this site know where my feelings lay.

And I think it’s a good thing the Greinke camp is talking about ignoring the no-trade.  When you’re shopping a talent like Greinke, you want as many bidders as possible.  Simple economics: More interest equals a higher return.

While the no-trade clause can be used to prevent a top player from being dumped into the lap of a losing team, it’s just as often used as a bargaining chip.  Leverage, as it were.  In Greinke’s case, it’s an extremely shrewd piece of a contract which was negotiated by his agent John Courtright at SFX.   Obviously, at the time the player and agent (and the team) can’t see into the future, so the no-trade clause is the best way to hedge their bets on the future of the young ace.  If the Royals are a competitive team while Greinke is a member, everyone wins.  Greinke pitches important games, the Royals are in a pennant race and Greinke marries a model.  (OK, so one of those three things happened.)  If the Royals aren’t competitive, the market most certainly would dictate that the Royals would shop Greinke.  Armed with the no-trade clause, Greinke holds all of the power.  If the Royals wish to trade him to a team currently on his “list” Greinke could either:

A) Realize the Royals are years away from contention and waive his no-trade clause so the Royals could continue to build for the future.
B) Decline the deal no matter what.
C) Agree to remove the clause if his new team comes up with a suitable number for a contract extension.

Uhhh… It’s pretty clear what happens in this situation.

Greinke will be 28 at the end of his current contract.  If he pitches anywhere close to his potential over the next two years, he’ll be set for a ginormous payday.  Epic.  He can remove that whole shopping for a new team angle by negotiating a long-term deal with a perennial contender who can afford what it will cost to get the 2009 Cy Young award winner under contract.

No doubt about it, Greinke holds all the power.  All of it.

This brings us to the “source close to the right-hander” quoted in Passan’s article.  Passan is good at what he does and because of his Kansas City ties, undoubtedly has an inside track on all things Zack.  But the cynic in me says this wasn’t some source Passan has used before.  Or it wasn’t someone Passan called out of the blue for a quote.  It was likely someone sent from the Greinke camp with the purpose to pressure the Royals into making a deal.  It could have been anyone… His father, his wife, his agent… But let’s be clear about this.  It was someone speaking with Greinke’s blessing.  This was an orchestrated quote, all but announcing Greinke’s intentions.  If New York is in play, everyone is in play.

That means Greinke is done in Kansas City.

Plus, in reference to the title of this post, there simply wouldn’t be this many rumors floating around if there wasn’t something to them.  My partner in crime, Clark, tweeted that the latest development makes him think there’s a 95% chance Greinke is out of town by Christmas.  Those are some steep odds.  However, I’ll go one better than Clark.  I think there’s now a 95% chance that Greinke is gone by December 16.

Why December 16?  Because I figure the Cliff Lee Sweepstakes will be settled sometime during the Winter Meetings in Orlando next week.  The Lee free agency is what is holding up any impending Greinke deal.  Lee will cost a ton, but he won’t cost prospects, and all we hear about is how teams are really valuing their prospects these days.  That makes the Ranger starter option number one in this market.  Beyond Lee, the rest of the class of free agent starting pitchers is thin.  Extremely thin.  That makes Greinke option number one A.  Greinke can’t be moved until Lee makes his decision.  And we all know how Dayton Moore likes to act quickly.  He’s like one of the McGuire twins at an all you can eat buffet:  He wants it all and he wants it NOW!  December 16 is one week after the close of the meetings.

Now it’s time to look forward and determine what kind of return Greinke could bring.

According to Ken Davidoff of Newsday an official from an NL club speculated it would take a package of Jesus Montero, Slade Heathcott and Dellin Bettances if the Yankees were to lose out on the Lee Sweepstakes and settle for Greinke.  That’s a strong group of prospects.  Let’s look at the players:

Montero is the number one prospect in the Yankee system according to Baseball America and my be the best all around hitter in the minors.  He got off to a slow start in AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last summer, but wound up hitting .289/.353/.517 with 34 doubles and 21 home runs.  The best part?  He’s a catcher.  Yes, please.  That means stud prospect Wil Meyers can move to the outfield and it also means we can put Jason Kendall out to pasture.  While scouts rave about his bat, they’re far less complimentary about his defensive skills.  He allows more than his share of passed balls and has trouble with his transfer on throws to second.  Also, Montero is a big guy and conditioning will be key in any future improvement.  Still, acquiring a guy like Montero is a must in any kind of deal for Greinke.

— Bettances is the Yankees number three prospect. (Just behind Gary Sanchez, another catcher.  Three of the Yankees top six prospects are catchers.)  He stands 6-8 and has an electric fastball with a power curve.  He had surgery to reinforce a ligament in his right elbow in 2009 and threw only 85 innings last year between High A and Double-A.  He struck out 108 and walked just 22.  Baseball America projects him as a front line starter as soon as 2012, and if he falters they figure he could be on the shortlist to replace Mariano Rivera.

— Heathcott is the Yankees number nine prospect and top ranked outfielder.  At just 20 years old, he received his first taste of pro ball last summer and hit .258/.359/.352 in A ball.  Baseball America describes him as a high-energy player with excellent speed and range in center.  Like most first time pros, his power is still developing and his pitch recognition isn’t there just yet.  He had surgery on his left (throwing) shoulder this winter and will possibly start 2011 on the sidelines, but there aren’t any long-term concerns.  Still, as the youngest of the three he’s the furthest from the majors.

I think this is exactly the kind of deal the Royals take for Greinke.  Three prospects, none with the major league service clock ticking.  One who is as close to a sure thing (and at a premium position) you’ll ever find, another who is a year away from contributing and a third who has some upside.  If you hit on two of those three, that’s a successful deal.

What do you think?  Is that a fair deal for the ace?  Or do you want more?  Or do you want to hold on to Greinke at all costs?

Either way, I think it’s time to start thinking about Zack Greinke as a former Royal.

Maybe we can work out a sign and trade with this guy.

Yeah, it’s kind of cliche, but it’s not such a bad idea to take stock from time to time and give a little bit of thanks.  Despite the continuing struggles with the Royals and despite the fact that the 2011 season is shaping up to be kind of brutal at the major league level,  if you look close enough you can still find a few positives.

So with Thanksgiving just past, here’s what I’m thankful for as a Royals fan.

I’m thankful for…

– Billy Butler’s line drive ability and his proclivity for doubles.  Doubles… Not double plays.

– Joakim Soria’s amazing curve ball.  Described in these parts as “baseball porn.”

– Zack Greinke’s slider.  Even though he got a swing and a miss on it only 18.6% of the time last summer.  Compared to 2009’s swing and a miss rate of 23.4%.

– The Royals minor league system that suddenly is a source of optimism.

– This being the last season where I have to put up with watching Yuniesky Betancourt.  Unless GMDM does something colossally insane, like picking up his $6 million club option for 2012.

– Redundant waiver claims (Joaquin Arias and Lance Zawadzki anyone?) because it gives me something to write about in November.

– Alex Gordon’s smooth transition to left and the fact there’s still a glimmer (however faint) that he can possibly put together a solid offensive season.

– Clint Robinson’s Texas League Triple Crown.  Sure it was Double-A, but a Triple Crown is a Triple Crown.  Cool that he earned a spot on the 40-man roster and a likely spot in Omaha with an eye on Kansas City next summer.

– Eric Hosmer’s swing being compared to Will Clark’s swing.

– Kila Ka’iahue.

– That someone will probably overpay Bruce Chen this winter, giving him at least a two year contract.

– The fact it won’t be with the Royals.

– Trey Hillman finding employment with the Dodgers.  Is there any way to set up an alert to let me know when Don Mattingly gets ejected from games?  I really want to watch Hillman manage a team I don’t care about, so I can gawk like a car crash.

– My colleagues and readers of Royals Authority.  This may sound cheesy, but it’s incredibly fun to be a part of the internet community that make up the fans of this team.

Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments.  I hope you had an outstanding holiday.

Episode #036 – Royals Authority writer Craig Brown joins Nick in this episode of the podcast.  They talk about Dejesus, Upton, Greinke, the Storm Chasers, Sporting KC and how Clark is totally blowing it if he doesn’t see baseball in Puerto Rico.  All that plus some other random musings on the Royals and baseball.

[audio:http://www.livekc.com/podcasts/bbs036.mp3|titles=BBS Royals Podcast #036]

Follow Nick on Twitter @brokenbatsingle or on Facebook

Follow Craig on Twitter @royalsauthority

Music used in this podcast:

The Replacements – I Will Dare

Sir Richard Bishop – Zurvan

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Nick Scott writes about the Royals for Royals Authority, podcasts about the Royals at Broken Bat Single and writes about the Chiefs for Chiefs Command. You can follow him on Twitter @brokenbatsingle, on Facebook or email him at brokenbatsingle at gmail dot com.

As you probably know, I’m a John Buck fan.  By “fan,” I mean I really would have liked for the Royals to keep him over Miguel Olivo last winter and avoided signing Jason Kendall.  Buck is an adequate backstop with power.  There’s some value in that.  Yesterday, we learned exactly how much value as he signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Florida Marlins.

Come again?

Just when you think you have baseball economics figured out, someone comes along and just blasts the conventional wisdom right out of the water.  As much as I like Buck, I always thought him to play out the rest of his career as kind of a journeyman… A series of single year deals that would pay him somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 or $3 million per.  But a multi-year commitment that will net him $6 million a year?  Wow.

And now we can say we knew him when.  Unfortunately, he’s now in South Florida.  Baseball’s Siberia.

The Buck news (and subsequent insane Dan Uggla deal) pushed the potential big rumor of the day to the back pages of the internet. (I know… mixed metaphor alert.)  Allegedly, the Arizona Diamondbacks have a bit of buyers remorse on Justin Upton and are listening to offers for their outfielder.  Upton hit .273/.356/.422 in 571 plate appearances – numbers down from his stellar 2009 campaign where he hit .300/.366/.532 in roughly the same number of plate appearances.

Whomever deals for Upton (assuming the Diamondbacks are serious and actually pull the trigger) will be getting a 23 year old outfielder who is signed through 2015 and is owed roughly $49 million.  And is likely a bargain.

This presents an interesting question if you’re Royals general manager Dayton Moore.  Upton is an A List talent locked in to what should be a very favorable contract, so as such, he will demand an A List return.  The Royals have the players at their disposal to make the deal.  We know how their minor league system is stocked to the gills with young, promising talent.

So the question is, do the Royals partially disassemble their minor league system by dealing a couple of their top prospects in exchange for a young outfielder who has proven he can hit in the major leagues?  Do you ship potential in exchange for a player who has proven he can perform at the major league level?

What would it take?  Two top ten prospects?  An arm and a bat? If that’s the case, I think I pull the trigger.    Sure the trade could backfire for a number of reasons (injury by Upton, both prospects become All-Stars, etc.) but in the cases where you can deal potential for proven ability – especially when the player with proven ability is only 23 – you kind of have to do it.

However, if Dayton Moore doesn’t want to ship off a pair of his prized prospects, there’s an alternative…

How about shipping Zack Greinke to Arizona along with another mid-level prospect in exchange for Upton?

Think about that one for a moment… (Although I can hear the chorus of “Hell, yeahs!” all the way from my mom’s basement.)

Greinke has publicly called into question his desire to remain in Kansas City for another youth movement.  He has a limited no-trade clause that we know blocks deals to large market teams, presumably because he doesn’t want to pitch under the microscope that comes with playing for a team like the Yankees, Red Sox or Phillies.  The Royals are in a payroll conscious frame of mind and swapping a $12 million salary for the $11 million Upton is due over the next two seasons seems like something that would appeal to the Royal bean counters.

Of course, I haven’t touched on the big reason to make the trade… Upton could become the best power hitting corner outfielder for the Royals since… Danny Tartabull?  Wow.

For Arizona this deal makes some sense as well.  Everyone needs starting pitching, but the Diamondbacks have more than a few openings.  Greinke is signed for the next two years and in the topsy-turvy NL West, all it takes is some stability to be in the race.  Greinke wouldn’t automatically make them a contender, but he would certainly move them closer.  Besides, think about him taking a few turns in San Francisco and San Diego a couple of times a year.  (Even at home… Those are traditionally a pair of weak-hitting teams.)  Greinke could move to Arizona and pull a Lincecum and win back to back Cy Young awards.

If I’m Dayton Moore, I’m kicking the tires on Upton and thinking of sending Greinke on his way to the desert.  If Arizona is amenable, I’d make this trade in a heartbeat.

If they do make a deal like this, it would seem to accelerate the timetable, wouldn’t it?  Even though Upton would be here until 2015, the Royals would need to move their prospects along to where a majority of them would have to make their debuts in 2012.  (Regardless, this is likely to happen – I’m thinking an Upton deal would really push their hand.)  You figure the young nucleus of hitters and especially the pitchers will need a couple years of major league seasoning before the Royals can seriously consider themselves contenders.  That means a playoff push could happen in 2014, which means we would have two years of in-his-prime Upton to complement the young, developing, championship players.

You will hear no argument from me.

I am going to take a break from my normal routine here and pause the positional season in review posts I’ve been putting up.  To be honest, the main reason is because I’ve been very sick and my brain is only at about a quarter capacity.  Instead for my regular Tuesday installment, I am going to just do some bullets and notes from around the Royals and baseball.  When you’re sick, it’s always best to let other people do most of the heavy lifting.  So let’s just get right into it.

  • First, let’s start with some tone setting music, John Zorn’s Electric Masada – Kairaim Part 1 and Part 2.
  • It’s not Royals related, but in a way it’s Kansas City related.  John Klima at Baseball Beginnings writes The Last .400 Hitter, about Artie Wilson who hit .402 in the Negro American League.  Also, if you are not, you should consider becoming a member of the Negro League Museum.
  • The Royals named Lonnie Goldberg the new Director of Scouting.  The title of the article was “Goldberg named new KC director of scouting” and I’m not gonna lie, I was like “wow, Joel Goldberg is getting out of the TV game?”  Lonnie Goldberg has been with the Royals since 2007 and was the director of baseball operations.
  • I found this to be hilarious.  I know that the likely audience of people who would enjoy pitch f/x comedy is small, but I am in that small group.
  • Jeff Zimmerman at Royals Review asks David Glass to vote for Marvin Miller for the Hall of Fame.  I agree 100%.
  • The Omaha Royals have been re-named the Omaha Storm Chasers.  Yes, seriously.  I expected to read Minda Haas ripping it apart, but she’s not.  I’ll defer to her on this and accept it.
  • Todd Gold of Perfect Game has a scouting report from the AFL Rising Stars game at Royals Prospects.  I came away from the game thinking that Mike Montgomery had electric stuff, but needed to be more consistent.  However it was only two innings.
  • Phil Wood of MASN writes “I was told by someone privy to the situation that there indeed have been preliminary discussions between the Nationals and the Royals regarding righthander Zack Greinke.” He goes on to say “As the story goes, K.C. GM Dayton Moore…believes that any Nationals’ package would have to begin with either pitcher Jordan Zimmerman or shortstop Ian Desmond.” To be honest, I don’t know a whole lot about either of these guys.  What do you think?
  • Baseball America has posted their Top 10 Royals prospects.  They agree with me and have Eric Hosmer at the top.  Brett Eibner the 2010 draft pick out of the University of Arkansas is number 10, he’ll be someone to keep an eye on in 2011 along with Salvador Perez.
  • Clark and I discussed the David Dejesus trade in detail on the podcast last week, but I never got to write down my thoughts.  The questions come down to these:

1. Is this good return for Dejesus? It’s hard to tell, and we won’t know until time has passed. But the Royals are giving up only one season of a corner outfielder without power who is coming off of a season ending hand injury. The needed return for that isn’t extremely high.
2. Why did it happen so early? I figure Dayton Moore has been trying to deal Dejesus for a year now and has a pretty good idea of what his value on the market is. While it’s early in the off-season, its not early in the Dejesus talks.

  • Former Royal Ed Kirkpatrick died on Monday. He was 66.  He was a member of the original 1969 Royals and was on the team until he was traded in 1973 with Winston Cole and Kurt Bevacqua to the Pirates for Nelson Briles and Fernando Gonzalez.

Nick Scott writes about the Royals for Royals Authority, podcasts about the Royals at Broken Bat Single and writes about the Chiefs for Chiefs Command. You can follow him on Twitter @brokenbatsingle, on Facebook or email him at brokenbatsingle at gmail dot com.

Episode #034 – Clark Fosler, one of my co-writers at Royals Authority joins me to talk about the David Dejesus trade.  What does it mean for the Royals, did the Royals get good value in return and did Dayton rush to judgment?  We also talk 2011 and beyond.

[audio:http://www.livekc.com/podcasts/bbs035.mp3|titles=BBS Royals Podcast #035]

Follow Nick on Twitter @brokenbatsingle or on Facebook
Follow Clark on Twitter @cfosroyalsauth

Music used in this podcast:

Tool – Lateralus

Earthless – Cherry Red

The Hipnecks – Sni-A-Bar Stomp

How to Get the Podcast:

Click here to be taken to the site to download directly.

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Nick Scott writes about the Royals for Royals Authority, podcasts about the Royals at Broken Bat Single and writes about the Chiefs for Chiefs Command. You can follow him on Twitter @brokenbatsingle, on Facebook or email him at brokenbatsingle at gmail dot com.

Sometimes the bullets come on the weekends, sometimes they come on a Wednesday.  I’m unpredictable like that.  If you are like me, you scour the internet for hours on end looking for interesting articles and tidbits relating to the Kansas City Royals.  If you are unlike me and have a much better way to spend your free-time, then just let me do the work for you.  I’ve scoured the entire interbots for you to bring you these bullets and links.  Enjoy

  • I’ve heard entirely too much about how many double plays Billy Butler has grounded into.  The bottom line is that it really isn’t a big deal.  First, here is the list of players who hit into the most double plays in the MLB in 2010:
  1. Billy Butler
  2. Michael Cuddyer
  3. Pablo Sandoval
  4. Adrian Beltre
  5. Albert Pujols
  6. Derrick Lee
  7. Ty Wiggington
  8. Torii Hunter
  9. Derek Jeter

It’s pretty darn good company.  With runners on 1st and less than 1 out Billy Butler had a .950 OPS, Albert Pujols had a .901.  Butler is slow, puts the ball into play a lot and plays for a team with a bunch of singles hitters.  It’s a perfect recipe for hitting into a ton of double plays.  It’s really not a big deal.

  • Matt Eddy at Baseball America has all of the minor league transactions for the past week.  The Royals re-signed Luis Mendoza, Cody Clark and Jamie Romak.  Nothing really surprising there.  Romak had a fantastic Pan Am Qualifying tournament where he was named tournament MVP.  The Royals have had an odd fascination with Luis Mendoza since obtaining him from the Rangers, I’ve never got it.
  • I-70 Baseball has been doing an epic retrospective on the 1985 World Series in honor of the 25th anniversary.  I contributed an article on Dick Howser’s use rather non-use of Dan Quisenberry in Game 2.  There are a bunch of articles, check them out.
  • I’ve read some things mentioning that Zack Greinke’s no-trade clause includes most of the big market teams.  This is pretty standard and it doesn’t mean he can’t get traded there.  Players usually put the big-market teams on their no-trade list because those teams have money to spend and the player can use his clause to get leverage and force the team to pick up options he has in his contract.  It doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to win or that he is scared of big markets.
  • Rustin Dodd over at the Kansas City Star’s Ball Star blog tells the story of Ian Kinsler who played at Mizzou and now is playing in the World Series.
  • Jeff Zimmerman at Royals Review busts out his slide rule and charts to determine with what I’d call 100% accuracy the reason the Royals didn’t make the playoffs.  Just try and prove him wrong, I dare you.
  • If you want to follow just two teams during the offseason, I’d recommend the Surprise Rafters in the Arizona Fall League and the Senadores de San Juan of the Liga de Beisbol Professional de Puerto Rico.  Both have a bunch of high quality Royals prospects.  You could also just get my Royals Report email and let me send you (almost) daily updates on who is doing what.  Just email me at brokenbatsingle at gmail dot com.
  • David over at Royals Zone has a list of the top 10 Royals of all time.  I think it might surprise you, however I am in 100% agreement with his #2.  It’s the most underrated Royal in history and if I could get one jersey, it’d be his.  That’s a teaser, check out the site yourself.  But the players name rhymes with Shmamos Shmotis, no more hints.
  • The World Series begins today, you should check out the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers blogs from the Sweet Spot Network, they do excellent work.  Who are you rooting for?  I’m not rooting for a team, I’m rooting for a 7 game series.
  • Would it surprise you if this was the least active off-season in recent Royals history?  It wouldn’t surprise me.  I’m of the belief that it’s a good thing, but it’s weird considering this season was so terrible.
  • Question:  Why don’t the Yankees outspend everyone in the draft?  I really don’t know the answer to this.

Nick Scott writes about the Royals for Royals Authority, podcasts about the Royals at Broken Bat Single and writes about the Chiefs for Chiefs Command. You can follow him on Twitter @brokenbatsingle, on Facebook or email him at brokenbatsingle at gmail dot com.

Episode #034 – Sam Mellinger from the Kansas City Star stops by and discusses Jose Guillen’s tigers and $12,000 floor mats, honesty with baseball players, trading Zack Greinke and how exactly to grade Dayton Moore.  Nick also touches on baseball ratings and the 2010 catching corps.

[audio:http://www.livekc.com/podcasts/bbs034.mp3|titles=BBS Royals Podcast #034]

Follow Nick on Twitter @brokenbatsingle or on Facebook

Follow Sam on Twitter @mellinger, check out his work at the Kansas City Star or read his blog.

Music used in this podcast:

Ray Charles – Never Ending Song Of Love

Stephen Malkmus – The Hook

Sun Ra – Images

How to Get the Podcast:

Click here to be taken to the site to download directly.

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via Zune

Subscribe via any other feedreader.

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