Life moves fast….sort of.
The signings of Joakim Soria and Chris Young have already altered the winter roster landscape. As Craig detailed yesterday, the Royals have $30 to $35 million to spend this season after paying guaranteed contracts and accounting for arbitration. They ate up $12-$13 million (depending on how Soria’s deal is structured) with those two signings and that very simply points to Zobrist OR Gordon, not both and maybe not either one.
Right now, as we speak and not accounting for whatever conversation Dayton Moore may be having at this very moment, the defending champion Royals would open the season with this roster:
Catcher – Sal Perez, Tony Cruz or Drew Butera
First Base – Eric Hosmer
Designated Hitter – Kendrys Morales
Second Base – Omar Infante
Shortstop – Alcides Escobar
Third Base – Mike Moustakas
Utility Infielder – Christian Colon (and Cody Decker?)
Left Field – Jarrod Dyson
Center Field – Lorenzo Cain
Right Field – Paulo Orlando
Backup Outfield – Brett Eibner or Rey Fuentes or Jose Martinez
Starting Rotation – Edinson Volquez, Yordano Ventura, Kris Medlen, Danny Duffy and Chris Young
Bullpen – Wade Davis, Joakim Soria, Kelvin Herrera, Luke Hochevar, Louis Coleman, Tim Collins and…somebody.
Certainly, the Royals are not done and without question they are not going into 2016 planning on playing Dyson in one corner of the outfield and Orlando in the other. The two combined to hold down right (or left)? Sure, that’s doable and likely no worse than Alex Rios – maybe even better, but both playing everyday? I know there are some on the Eibner bandwagon and Martinez did enough last year in Omaha to warrant curiosity, but let’s be realistic here: that is not a championship outfield.
This is just a little exercise I will do from time to time this off-season. Marking the Royals for what they would be at this one moment in time. Right now, your Royals’ outfield is Lorenzo Cain, Jarrod Dyson against right-handers and the hope that Orlando and company outhit Omar Infante.
The rotation is probably no worse and, honestly, maybe even a little better than what it was at the start of last season. At least, it could be better….maybe. With Soria in the fold, the bullpen is awfully salty. As good as last year? Quite possibly.
So, a 2015 team that won 95 regular season games is currently morphed into the above. How many wins does that group collect? Feel like 86 or 87 right now.
Work to do and we already all knew that.