Blog Entry

Royals '08-'09 Offseason So Far

Posted on: January 12, 2009 2:13 pm

Since the offseason is winding down and it doesn't look like the Royals have many bullets left in the gun unless they make a trade, I wanted to take a look at the good and bad deals this offseason.

First, the good aquisitions.

  • Traded Ram-Ram for Coco Crisp.  Some people might disagree with me on this, but I think Coco is going to have a pretty good year.  He had a better year last year than he had the year before and now he will not be in a platoon with Ellsbury anymore.  He predicted 40 steals for this year.  If he get's even half of that, he's easily the stolen base leader on the team.  Giving up Ram-Ram for an everyday CF is a no-brainer in my book.  I really don't think Ram-Ram is going to repeat his season from last year anytime soon.  Besides, we picked him up off the scrap heap last year and turned it into Coco.  Not a bad deal at all.
  • Signed Waechter as a middle reliever.  This guy was once a good starting pitcher prospect after being drafted in the 3rd round but was injured and had a tough time rebounding.  He pitched pretty well last year in middle relief for the Marlins with a 3.69 ERA and a 1.3 WHIP.  Could be better, but could be alot worse.

I wish there was more to put in that section, but there just isn't.  Now on to the questionable moves.

  • Signed Farnsworth to a 2 year/$9.25 million dollar deal.  Are you kidding me?  He's had a 4+ ERA the past three seasons, gave up 15 HR in 60 innings last year, a WHIP that has increased each of the last four years, and his strikeouts seem to be falling off a bit.  (75 in '06 in 66IP, 48 in '07 in 60IP, 61 in '08 in 60IP)  Just stupid to pay a guy that much when he's that mediocre.
  • Traded Leo Nunez for Mike Jacobs.  On the surface, it doesn't look that bad.  Trading a middle/late inning reliever for a guy who hit 32 HR last year.  The trade isn't the problem, it's what else was involved in the trade that makes it a bad deal.  I'll get to the details later.
  • Signed Horacio Ramirez for $1.8 million.  I don't mind Horacio.  He pitched pretty decently for us last year in the brief stint he was here, but for $1.8 million?  There's definitely better guys available for $1.8 million.  John Parrish, Chuck James and Mark Mulder come to mind as lefties.  Probably won't make the starting rotation next year so you now have four lefties in the bullpen.  (Mahay, Bale, Gobble, Ramirez)
  • Signed Bloomquist to a 2 year/$3 million deal.  Don't get me wrong, I don't hate this signing that much, but it's not in the good aquisitions category, so here it is.  The thing that gets me is it's a two year deal.  If he can handle second base on a regular basis, it's a good signing, but if he can't then you have another Esteban German on your team and still have to play Callaspo at second base.

Ok, now I'll get back to the Mike Jacobs deal and explain myself.  We traded Nunez for him, and it seemed that Nunez was figuring out how to pitch in the bigs.  He wasn't making much money and now you have Jacobs for at least $3 million.  Not to mention that you had to sign Farnsworth to replace him, which is $4.625 million.  So if you don't trade for Jacobs and don't sign Farnsworth, that leaves you with about $7 million in money to spend.  Also, if you don't sign Horacio Ramirez for that $1.8 million deal you have around $9 million to spend.  $9 MILLION!  There are several scenarios in which this money could have been spent that I can see.

  1. Sign Jason Giambi for $5 million with an option for '10.  He has much better numbers over a longer period of time than Jacobs and plays the same kind of defense, none.  That leaves you with $4 million in which you can take a look at Orlando Hudson at second base if you can get ownership to cough up a few million more or find a decent starting pitcher, possibly in the Brad Penny, Randy Wolf, Daniel Cabrera range.
  2. Sign a starter with all of that $9 million, such as Ben Sheets, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Oliver Perez.
  3. Sign Orlando Hudson with all of that $9 million.
  4. Entertain the idea of an Adam Dunn, Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell signing.  You'd have to move either David DeJesus or Jose Guillen to make room though.
  5. Make a real run at Furcal before he signed with the Dodgers.

I know signing Hudson or any of the pitchers mentioned above may be a stretch, but if you have $9 million to spend, you can shuffle around and find a few million more, especially Hudson since you wouldn't have had to sign Bloomquist so that's another $1.5 million.  Let's take a look at scenario #1.  Here's what the line-up would have looked like.

  • Crisp - CF
  • Aviles - SS
  • DeJesus - LF
  • Guillen - RF
  • Giambi - DH
  • Butler/Shealy - 1B
  • Gordon - 3B
  • Olivo - C
  • Bloomquist/Callaspo - 2B

Starting Rotation

  • Grienke
  • Meche
  • Penny/Wolf/Cabrera
  • Davies
  • Hochevar


  • Soria - Closer
  • Nunez - Set-up
  • Waechter
  • Bale
  • Mahay - Set-up
  • number of other guys

Now mix and match that line-up as you want to with the scenarios provided.  Doesn't look too bad huh?  This offseason could have been so much better if we would have been patient and let the market come to us.  Trading for Jacobs right off the bat put us in a hole that we had to spend money to dig out of, and I'm not sure if we've even done that.

Category: MLB

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: February 15, 2009 12:44 pm

Royals '08-'09 Offseason So Far


Since: Apr 4, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2009 5:22 pm

Royals '08-'09 Offseason So Far

I don't see why we couldn't sign Penny for $8 million, he signed with Boston for $5 million.     My apologies Powdr, I actually was thinking about Derek Lowe when discussing Penny.   I agree, I think the Red Sox got a steal picking up Penny for $5 million.  It sure makes our 4.5 million a year deal with Farnsworth look all the more stupid.

Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2009 12:40 am

Royals '08-'09 Offseason So Far

I agree with you 100% on the Coco Crisp comments. He will have a huge year if he turns out to be an everyday player which he should. He should bat around .280 - .290, have around 100 runs and 30 SB. What more can you ask of a leadoff hitter. Not to mention he doesn't strike out much and plays solid defense. If some of the Royals young players continue to get better the Royals can be legit contenders in a couple of years.

Also, I think Billy Butler is going to be one hell of a pro with more playing time.

Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2009 12:35 am

Royals '08-'09 Offseason So Far

I totally agree with you on the Coco comments. He is going to exceed what most Royal fans think he is going to do. If he plays everyday which he should, he will bat around .280 or .290 and have 100+ runs, 30 SB and most importantly be a veteren leader on this young team which they desperately need. If Coco and Jose can't get this young team fired up to win games, I don't know if anyone can. They both are high dollar players that came here to try to turn this joke of an orginization around and win some ballgames. I think the Royals are in the right direction as long as players like Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Mike Aviles, Joakim Soria and Zack Greinke continue to get better and actually stick around when there contracts expire.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2009 11:03 am

Royals '08-'09 Offseason So Far

I don't see why we couldn't sign Penny for $8 million, he signed with Boston for $5 million.  An extra $3 million would make a difference, even if he is choosing between KC and Boston.  I'm with you, I wasn't upset that we traded a middle reliever for Jacobs, it's just what else that did to the offseason that makes it worse.  So much more could have been done with the money we had to spend to get the holes it created taken care of, and he didn't even fill a hole that we had.  If we traded Nunez for Dan Uggla or something that would make sense.  Instead we have to spend to replace Nunez and we have to spend to fill the other spots we have holes in.  The Bloomquist signing isn't so bad, it's just another example of how management says one thing and does something different.  I mean, would you rather have Bloomquist with his .250 BA and .320 OBP with above average defense or Callaspo and his .300 BA and .360 OBP with decent defense and less range?  It's six in one hand, half-dozen in the other.

If your asking if I would rather have Nunez, Kila and Penny/Wolf/Sheets/Hudson or Farns, Jacobs and Bloomquist, the answer is pretty easy.

Since: Apr 4, 2008
Posted on: January 13, 2009 7:10 am

Royals '08-'09 Offseason So Far

We think a helluva alot alike Powdr.   The only thing that kept me from flipping out over the Jacobs deal was that we only gave up a middle reliever for him.   However, I felt that we didn't really need to get a first baseman/DH in the first place.   I was hoping that either Shealy or the Hawaiin Punch would emerge from spring training with the first base job.   I figure either one of them would be good for at least 20 HR, if not more, and hit for a heck of a lot better OBP than Jabobs ever has.  I believe I read that Kila lead all minor leaguers in OBP last season.   So why in the hell do we wanna spend $3Mil a year for a guy that gets you a .300 OBP?  OBP was the main malfunction for our team in the 2008 season, so how is Jacobs supposed to help there?   Sure his 32 homers was nice but if you're only hitting .240 or .250 with RISP, alot of that power looks pretty empty.   I will be completely blown away if the Farnsworth signing ever looks good.   I question Nunez's ability to stay healthy but not to the extent that I question Farnsworth's ability to lower his ERA below 3.50.   To me, the $4.5 Million we're paying Farnsworth is money we're pissing away.  The Bloomquist signing doesn't really bother me.  If he gets the nod at second this year, he could steal 20 bases if he can get at least 450-500 at bats and he plays good defense.   With the money we spent on Jacobs and Farnsworthless, we could probably get Wolf, I doubt if we could get Penny for under $8 million.   One bad thing about being a losing franchise for over a decade in flyover country is that we'll have to pay a little more to get quality players to come here.    Just another added headache when you're already a small market team thats strapped for cash.   I know we were eager to see Dayton go out and help this team right away, but in hindsight, I agree, I wish he would have been more patient now that I've witnessed Burrell sign for $8 million and the BoSox signing Baldelli to a $500,000 contract.   Now that the big names have been signed, its beginning to look like a lot of the rest of the free agents will be aquired in a buyer friendly market.   Problem is, it looks like we're out of chips to stay in the game.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: January 12, 2009 5:08 pm

Royals '08-'09 Offseason So Far

I should have pointed out that I prefer Giambi to Jacobs due to the fact that they had relatively the same numbers last year except Giambi had an OBP around 60 points higher.  That's a big difference for a team that has such a hard time scoring runs.  With Butler and Gordon hitting behing him, he will hopefully have opportunities to trot around the bases instead of run.

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