Tag:AL Central
Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:30 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Kansas City Royals



By Matt Snyder


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

Long a punching bag for fans and media alike, the Kansas City Royals have become a darling in recent years due to their strong farm system. We keep hearing about how they'll be a World Series caliber team by 2014 and the first wave of strong talent hit the bigs in 2011 -- with Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas leading the charge. There's more on the way, too. For the purposes of this exercise, though, the Royals get to add two All-Star veterans to the lineup who have long since departed. Oh, and they get back an aloof ace.

Lineup

1. Alex Gordon, LF
2. Johnny Damon, RF
3. Eric Hosmer, 1B
4. Carlos Beltran, CF
5. Billy Butler, DH
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Salvador Perez, C
8. Johnny Giavotella, 2B
9. Mike Aviles, SS

Starting Rotation

1. Zack Greinke
2. Luke Hochevar
3. Aaron Crow
4. Danny Duffy
5. Chad Durbin

Bullpen

Closer - J.P. Howell
Set up - Jeremy Affeldt, Greg Holland, Blake Wood, Tim Byrdak, Mike MacDougal
Long - Louis Coleman

Notable Bench Players

Matt Treanor, Kila Ka'aihue, Mark Ellis, David DeJesus, Mitch Maier, Jarrod Dyson

What's Good?

That really looks like a nice lineup. There's obviously some growing up to be done in the 6-7-8 spots, but that's a lot easier done when the top five spots are that strong. And remember, Wil Myers is on the way ...

What's Not?

With Beltran and Damon getting up into their high-30s, the outfield defense would lack range. Of course, DeJesus and Dyson are both available off the bench as late-inning defensive replacements, so the situation wouldn't be dire. There is no real closer, but that's a bit overrated anyway. And the starting rotation leaves something to be desired, for now, until Crow and Duffy prove their worth and some of the other prospects (like John Lamb and Mike Montgomery) start to arrive.

Comparison to real 2011

It's actually pretty similar, aside from a few huge names. These Royals have Beltran and Damon instead of Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur, while Greinke has been thrown atop the rotation. Those are upgrades and, remember, the real-life Royals didn't get full seasons out of many of their young players. It's reasonable to put this squad above .500 and maybe even lingering around in the playoff chase into August.

Up Next: Atlanta Braves

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Posted on: November 30, 2011 10:55 pm
 

Twins want to decide Morneau's position soon

Justin Morneau

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Wednesday said the team is considering moving Justin Morneau from first base to designated hitter -- something that would also allow Joe Mauer to play more at first base in an attempt to keep him fresh.

Morenau, who missed the second half of the 2010 season after suffering a concussion, played in just 69 games in 2011, while still battling the after effects of his concussion. He didn't play after diving for a ball on Aug. 28 and felt similar symptoms as his more serious concussions, despite landing on his shoulder, not his head. That had to scare the Twins, who have Morneau under contract through 2013 with $28 million due to the 30-year-old.

Speaking with ESPN 1500-AM in Minnesota on Wednesday, Gardenhire said the team would likely make a decision on Monreau's position soon.

"One of the things Terry [Ryan] and I talked about is making sure before we get too deep in this thing [is] what we're going to do with Morny," Gardenhire said (via the Star Tribune). "Where he is going to play, if it is DH, if it is first base. Morny has to eventually tell us what's right for him or I'll make the decision for him and we will go from there. If he can't decide and we talk to the doctors and they give me information where I think the best thing for him to do is to DH and protect him as much as possible, then that is what we will do.

"First thing, you talk to Morny and let him do the doctor things and go from there."

Gardenhire said he's been talking to Morneau via text message. He also said the team is making "a mad effort" to re-sign outfielder Michael Cuddyer and hoped to retain Matt Capps as the team's closer.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 30, 2011 7:48 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 3:22 pm
 

Wednesday's rumors: Cespedes, Rollins and more

Hot Stove
By C. Trent Rosecrans

While we all wait for tomorrow's 5:30 p.m. ET coronation of Bobby Valentine as the new manager of the Red Sox, here's the latest roundup of rumors, tidbits and other goings on around the baseball world -- or at least the internet part of it.

South Korean right-hander Chong Tae-Hyon is trying to decide between staying in his home country or joining the Orioles. The 33-year-old has been an All-Star in Korean and is a free agent for the first time. He's gaining plenty of interest in Korea, but would likely get a multi-year deal and a spot on the Orioles' 40-man roster, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles are also joining the sweepstakes for Cuban outfielder Yoennis Cespedes, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com writes.

Speaking of Cespedes, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo watched him work out in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes. He notes the Nationals were in attendance at a showcase for Cespedes in early November, before the now-famous video was released.

Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison will meet with a doctor this week to determine if he needs surgery on his right knee, Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post writes. Morrison said he twice ran into walls, including one incident that required five stitches to close a cut.

Infielder Adam Kennedy has agreed to a one-year deal with the Dodgers worth $800,000 to serve as a left-handed bat off the bench and a utility player. Kennedy spent 2010 with the Mariners, hitting .234/.277/.355 with seven home runs. (Orange County Register)

The Giants are looking to move either Jeremy Affeldt or right-hander Ramon Ramirez,Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports. The team picked up Affeldt's $5 million option for 2012. Ramirez is in his third year of arbitration and should get a bump from the $1.65 million he made last season. Right-hander Sergio Romo is also arbitration-eligible.

If somehow the Cardinals don't end up re-signing Albert Pujols, the team could look to sign Jimmy Rollins to fill its hole at shortstop, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. However, the team is stuck in a holding pattern until Pujols makes his final decision.

The good news for White Sox fans is that the team is cutting some of its ticket prices -- however that may be in anticipation of "gutting" the team, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. The team doesn't expect to get Mark Buehrle back and could look to trade lefty John Danks before he reaches free agency.

The Phillies announced they'd signed eight players to minor-league deals with invites to spring training, including right-hander Scott Elarton, infielder Pete Orr and outfielder Scott Podsednik

And, finally, to go back full circle to Valentine and the Red Sox, sources told WEEI.com's Alex Speier that after Terry Francona got the ax, Red Sox officials told at least one player that the team wasn't going to hire "someone like Bobby Valentine." Perhaps they forgot to add, "but maybe the real Bobby Valentine." ESPN.com's Buster Olney wrote that Red Sox players are already none too happy about the hiring, complaining about some of the things Valentine said about them on the air as ESPN's analyst. 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 

Posted on: November 30, 2011 3:18 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 6:03 pm
 

Tigers re-sign Ramon Santiago

Ramon SantiagoBy C. Trent Rosecrans

It may not be a blockbuster, but the Tigers are very happy to have re-signed utility man Ramon Santagio to a two-year deal worth a little more than $4 million on Wednesday.

Santiago, 32, played second base, third base and shortstop for the Tigers last season, hitting .260/.311/.384, including 75 starts at second base. Tigers manager Jim Leyland told CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler that he expects Santiago to continue in a similar role as he held in 2010, playing second base and shortstop. 

"He's a nice player for us," Leyland told Knobler.

The Tigers are still looking to upgrade at third base and left field, and could still add another second baseman. If the team doesn't add a second baseman, they can use Santiago and Ryan Raburn at second. Knobler writes the Tigers have also shown interest in free agent center fielder Coco Crisp and are looking for a starting pitcher, but will more likely look for a starter through a trade rather than a free agent signing.

Santiago has played eight of his 10 seasons in Detroit, playing for the Mariners in 2004 and 2005 before returning to Detroit after he was released following the 2005 season. He is a career .249/.316/.342 hitter.

Keep up to date with free agent moves with the CBSSports.com free agent tracker. 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 30, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Hellickson, Kimbrel lead All-Rookie team

Craig KimbrelBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Just when you thought award season was over -- move over Justin Verlander, you're not going to be on this list -- the Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team was announced on Wednesday. This is actually the 53rd, or so they tell us, All-Rookie team the baseball card company has put out (and did include Verlander back in 2006).

So, here it is:

1B Mark Trumbo, Angels

2B Danny Espinosa, Nationals

SS Dee Gordon, Dodgers

3B Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays

OF Desmond Jennings, Rays

OF Josh Reddick, Red Sox

OF Ben Revere, Twins

C J.P. Arencibia, Blue Jays

SP Jeremy Hellickson, Rays

RP Craig Kimbrel, Braves

In all, it looks fine. I'm a bigger fan of Eric Hosmer than Trumbo, but I can see why some would pick Trumbo. I'd also take Dustin Ackley over Espinosa, but otherwise, it seems difficult to nitpick all that much. And in the end, if you're nitpicking the Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team, you may need to get out of the house a little more.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 29, 2011 4:01 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 4:32 pm
 

Tuesday rumors: Dotel, Thornton and more

Rumor Mill
By Matt Snyder

There's going to be tons of rumor talk this week, as we inch closer to the Winter Meetings next week. That goes without saying. Some stuff will pan out and other rumors will never come to fruition.

Since not every reader is sitting on Twitter all day, we'll pass along as much as we can. Let's run through a quick snapshot of some of the more minor rumors from Tuesday morning and early afternoon. Remember, these are reports from other outlets that we're just passing along. Feel free to believe or ignore whatever you wish.

• Right-handed reliever Octavio Dotel -- who was an important member of the Cardinals bullpen after a midseason trade -- is drawing interest from a handful of teams, reports indicate. MLB.com says the Mets and Cardinals are in the running while FoxSports.com names the Cardinals, Reds and Tigers. Dotel is 38, but posted a high strikeout rate for the Cardinals (11.7 K/9, his best since '08) and threw well in the postseason.

• The White Sox are trying to trade left-handed reliever Matt Thornton, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Thornton is owed $12 million over the course of the next two seasons. The 35-year-old was excellent from 2008-2010 but took a step back in 2011. Of course, if you look at just June 5 to the end of the season, he was back to himself (2.20 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 44 K in 41 innings).

• The Cubs have interest in Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart (via trade), reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post, though Renck notes the level of "seriousness is unclear." Stewart makes a lot of sense as a trade candidate. Once a top-10 prospect (Baseball America had him as high as fourth in all of baseball), Stewart hit 25 homers for Colorado in 2009. But he's been unable to fix his issues with strikeouts, batting average or consistency and seems to have fallen out of favor. He'd probably come cheap, so the Cubs plugging him at third base -- with Aramis Ramirez headed out via free agency -- could work. Stewart's only 26, so maybe a change of scenery would help.

• The Dodgers are speaking with representatives for Adam Kennedy, reports MLB Trade Rumors. Kennedy would simply serve as a multi-positional backup infielder. The 35-year-old hit .234/.277/.355 last season for the Mariners. He'd be shaky at shortstop, but could handle first, second or third just fine.

• The Marlins are interested in Carlos Guillen, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com. The three-time All-Star is now 36 and has only averaged 72 games a year in the past four seasons due to injury woes. He'd also likely be simply a multi-positional backup or late-innings pinch hitter.

• This isn't a rumor, but we'll throw it in here. The Phillies have released relief pitcher Scott Mathieson so he can pursue a contract in Asia, the club announced via press release.

Hat-tip: MLB Trade Rumors

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 29, 2011 4:01 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 4:32 pm
 

Tuesday rumors: Dotel, Thornton and more

Rumor Mill
By Matt Snyder

There's going to be tons of rumor talk this week, as we inch closer to the Winter Meetings next week. That goes without saying. Some stuff will pan out and other rumors will never come to fruition.

Since not every reader is sitting on Twitter all day, we'll pass along as much as we can. Let's run through a quick snapshot of some of the more minor rumors from Tuesday morning and early afternoon. Remember, these are reports from other outlets that we're just passing along. Feel free to believe or ignore whatever you wish.

• Right-handed reliever Octavio Dotel -- who was an important member of the Cardinals bullpen after a midseason trade -- is drawing interest from a handful of teams, reports indicate. MLB.com says the Mets and Cardinals are in the running while FoxSports.com names the Cardinals, Reds and Tigers. Dotel is 38, but posted a high strikeout rate for the Cardinals (11.7 K/9, his best since '08) and threw well in the postseason.

• The White Sox are trying to trade left-handed reliever Matt Thornton, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Thornton is owed $12 million over the course of the next two seasons. The 35-year-old was excellent from 2008-2010 but took a step back in 2011. Of course, if you look at just June 5 to the end of the season, he was back to himself (2.20 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 44 K in 41 innings).

• The Cubs have interest in Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart (via trade), reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post, though Renck notes the level of "seriousness is unclear." Stewart makes a lot of sense as a trade candidate. Once a top-10 prospect (Baseball America had him as high as fourth in all of baseball), Stewart hit 25 homers for Colorado in 2009. But he's been unable to fix his issues with strikeouts, batting average or consistency and seems to have fallen out of favor. He'd probably come cheap, so the Cubs plugging him at third base -- with Aramis Ramirez headed out via free agency -- could work. Stewart's only 26, so maybe a change of scenery would help.

• The Dodgers are speaking with representatives for Adam Kennedy, reports MLB Trade Rumors. Kennedy would simply serve as a multi-positional backup infielder. The 35-year-old hit .234/.277/.355 last season for the Mariners. He'd be shaky at shortstop, but could handle first, second or third just fine.

• The Marlins are interested in Carlos Guillen, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com. The three-time All-Star is now 36 and has only averaged 72 games a year in the past four seasons due to injury woes. He'd also likely be simply a multi-positional backup or late-innings pinch hitter.

• This isn't a rumor, but we'll throw it in here. The Phillies have released relief pitcher Scott Mathieson so he can pursue a contract in Asia, the club announced via press release.

Hat-tip: MLB Trade Rumors

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 29, 2011 10:06 am
Edited on: November 29, 2011 12:09 pm
 

Royals sign Jonathan Broxton



By Matt Snyder


Jonathan Broxton has agreed to a one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals, the team announced Tuesday morning. Scott Miller of CBSSports.com has learned it's for $4 million, but performance bonuses for number of games pitched could push the deal to $5 million. At least 12 teams were interested and Broxton strongly considered the Rays and Rangers before signing with K.C. The deal is pending a physical, which will take place Wednesday, but Broxton says his arm feels "great," a source told Miller.

What if Broxton is healthy and able to return to form? He was one of the most dominant closers in baseball for a stretch, before injuries hampered him. The Royals already have a solid closer in Joakim Soria. He had an off-year in 2011, true, but he's only 27. There are some teams in the market for a proven closer but no money to spend on one (the Reds come to mind, specifically), so Soria could be pretty good trade bait.

For now, though, the Royals are planning to go with Soria as closer and Broxton as his setup man. Hard-throwing youngster Aaron Crow will then likely move into the starting rotation. And if Broxton is having a good season and the Royals aren't come July, he could be the trade bait, not Soria. So the signing opens up several options.

MLB Free Agency
Broxton, 27, is a two-time All-Star. Through 38 appearances in 2010, he had converted 19 of 21 save opportunities with a 1.93 ERA and 53 strikeouts in just 37 1/3 innings. He had only walked seven. The rest of the season, however, he blew five saves while recording only three. His ERA was 7.20 and he walked more guys (21) than he struck out (20). The bad carried over into 2011, as he was awful through 14 outings before an elbow injury ended his season prematurely.

He had minor arthroscopic surgery on his throwing (right) elbow in September to shave a bone spur and remove loose bodies. He's expected to start throwing in late December and be ready for spring training.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com