The winter meetings started on time this morning, and I wanted to get a quick post up about what I think the Royals are going to do heading into 2017. There have been several recent articles covering why this is such a pivotal time for the franchise (Mellinger) (Dodd) (Rosenthal) , and from a prospect point of view the team obviously needs to load up, as the state of the system is not good.
I don’t think the new CBA changes very much at all, and contra Mellinger I don’t think many expected the team to increase payroll any. We should all, those of us that can remember Jeff King quitting, Tony Muser’s milk and tequila, trading Jermaine Dye for freaking Neifi %$$#@&*% Perez, 5-tool Dee Brown, Lima time!, Joe Posnanski’s yearly opening day column predicting a Royals World Series win, and all the rest, reflect with wonder that the local beat writer is taking ownership to task for not expanding payroll above 140+ million American dollars. Such is the tall cotton and sumptuous BBQ that Royals fans have been enjoying. I hope we can bask in it for one more season, because 2018-2020 is likely to be ugly.
So of the major players that are free agents at the end of 2017 (Cain, Moose, Hosmer, Escobar, Duffy, Dyson, Davis) I would expect under the new CBA the Royals offering qualifying offers to Cain, Moose, Hosmer, Duffy and maayyyyybe Davis. All would be locks to get 50+ million contracts, including Davis if his arm is sound. Escobar isn’t going anywhere, and his presence would allow #Phenomdesi an additional year of seasoning in the minors, which he desperately needs. Mondesi with a 45 hit tool is a star. His current 30 bleh doesn’t play.
That leaves Mr. Zoombya himself. The pickup of Billy Burns last year, and Orlando, and Gore, who together add up to maybe 90% of Dyson, make him a tradeable asset.
The Mets have too many corner OF and no CF, and are said to want to add to their pen. Either of Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson would fit in RF just fine for 2017. Dyson is set to make, say $3 million in arb, Bruce is at $13M, Granderson $15M. Dayton can toss in Soria ($8M) and an A-ball arm and the Mets can pay some $$$ for freight.
From a prospect and rational fan angle, I would much rather that the Royals push hard and try for Conforto, who the Mets seem inexplicably down on, maybe by dangling Josh Staumont.
Either would allow Dozier/Cuthbert/day off to rotate through the DH spot, rookies Matt Strahm/Josh Staumont/Jake Junis/Eric Skogland to get their feet wet in the pen, and if you squint hard enough you can see the Royals banging out 88 wins and playing for another parade.
My biggest regret if this comes to pass is Soria’s legacy in KC will be forever tarnished to some by his star-crossed 2016. I didn’t like his signing last year, but he was a rare bright spot on the late-aught Royals.
KC Shankland lives in Maple Valley, Washington. His Royals fandom runs from the Royals/Yankees blood feud of the ‘70s to Hosmer’s mad dash home.
‘People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. Obsess over prospects.’