The Royals did some stuff on Wednesday, but it was just that: some stuff.
Greg Holland was non-tendered, instead of offering a pitcher who will not pitch in 2016 arbitration. The traded the Jose Martinez that you didn’t know for another back-up catcher, Tony Cruz, and actually did tender a contract to the other back-up catcher, Drew Butera. Hey, if you are going to use your backup catcher a whopping 20 times per season, you ought to have a couple. Three, of course, would be silly and so Kansas City sold Francisco Pena to Baltimore.
Along the way, the Royals also tendered contracts to Louis Coleman, something that was not a certainty, and also to a whole bunch of ‘certanties’: Cain, Moustakas, Duffy and Dyson. Dropped from the 40 man roster was Orlando Calixte. Add Monday’s signing of Tim Collins to a one year deal and you pretty much the Royals’ off-season to date in two entire paragraphs.
Of course, that’s okay. Dayton Moore has something of a reputation for being a quick striker when it comes to the off-season, but that might well have been the product of being the GM of a not very good team. As World Champions, with at least 19 players from last year’s roster coming back, one probably does not need to strike quickly any longer.
Of the smattering of moves and signings made thus far by other teams, has there really been a single one that you wish the Royals had been involved with or even one that effects what the Royals might or might not be able to do this winter? I can’t come up with one. Perhaps no news is good news.
Sadly, given the years and dollars rumored (yes, there are rumors and speculation in the off-season, get over it), I cringe at the thought of ‘Ben Zobrist news’ as it seems very likely any ‘actual’ news surrounding Zobrist will likely include the phrase ‘his former team, the Royals’. For the record, I’d be delighted with Zobrist for three years, but I’m hesitant about four. I do not get too hung up on ‘old’, which is apparently anything with a 3 in front of one’s age, but Ben will be 38 for the bulk of four seasons from now. There is a lot of thin ice and cliffs when you get up around that age as an athlete.
If Zobrist is gone, it would seem the Royals could – should they so choose – go pretty big in an effort to retain Alex Gordon. Four seasons from now, Gordon will be the same age as Ben Zobrist will be this coming year. I’m willing to take a gamble that Alex will still be productive (probably not a Gold Glover any longer, but certainly not Jose Guillen…or Alex Rios) in even year five of a mega-deal.
Truthfully, that IS what we are all waiting for: news about Ben Zobrist and Alex Gordon. The notoriously tight-lipped Royals may well have something cooking with them or a starting pitcher or, just to mess with the baseball world, a good reliever. Some news…any news and not ‘Tony Cruz type’ news.
Or, should we be hoping for no news?
While you are pondering that deep, deep question, maybe someone can enlighten me as to why the idea of extending Lorenzo Cain has so much traction?
I love Cain and his value is undeniable…for now. Yet, I am perplexed that so many who are ready to say good-bye to Alex Gordon couple that sentiment with ‘using the money’ to extend Lorenzo. He will be thirty in April and will be entering his age 32 season when eligible for free-agency, with a history of leg issues.
Give me Gordon and Cain together for the next two seasons and I’ll take a gamble on Gordon (and the Royals) being viable in 2018 and deal with what to do or try to do about Cain then as well.
Quite honestly, there is nothing new to see above. We are all waiting for something to happen and, for at least a decent majority of us, dreading what that something might be.