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Tag:Royals
Posted on: December 6, 2011 6:54 pm
 

Source: Astros to interview Logan White

By Matt Snyder

DALLAS -- The Houston Astros are working through the Winter Meetings without a new general manager, but they're continuing the interview process. A source has told CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler that Logan White, the current assistant general manager of scouting for the Dodgers, will interview for the position.

White has overseen drafts when the Dodgers selected star players Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp, in addition to other quality selections like Russell Martin, Chad Billingsley and Kenley Jansen.

White joins Royals assistant GM of scouting and player development J.J. Picollo, Cardinals vice president of player procurement Jeff Luhnow and Rockies assistant GM Bill Geivett as a serious candidates for the job. 

Dream candidate Andrew Friedman will not take the job, and instead stay with the Rays. Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine has also pulled out of the running.

Astros transitions
Upon the dismissal of former GM Ed Wade, Astros CEO George Postolos said the following:

"We are searching for a candidate who has the knowledge, skills and experience to build a winner and a strong commitment to player development in order to sustain success. Our goal is to consistently compete for a championship, and we know the first step towards that goal is to develop one of the top farm systems in baseball. We will hire the best candidate available to achieve our goal."

The Astros have not set a timetable on hiring a new GM. Dave Gottfried, who was Wade's assistant, is currently serving as the interim GM, but is not a candidate to land the full-time gig.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:00 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2011 8:21 pm
 

MLB Winter Meetings rumors: Monday

By Matt Snyder

Hot Stove Season
DALLAS -- We're live from the media room, lobby or anywhere else in the Dallas Hilton for Major League Baseball's annual Winter Meetings. Tons of rumors are going to be circulating throughout the meetings for the next four days, so we'll keep this as a landing spot for anything and everything. Check back for updates all day Monday. We'll timestamp updates made after the initial post.

Pujols

CBSSports.com's Scott Miller writes that the Cardinals are making every effort to get free agent superstar Albert Pujols signed.

Fielder

Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com blogged last night that the Brewers were finally feeling a bit optimistic their chances to keep free agent first baseman Prince Fielder. The Nationals are one name that have been thrown into Fielder rumors, but the Washington beat writers -- including MLB.com's Bill Ladson -- are reporting that Fielder is not a target. The Nats are reportedly content to use Adam LaRoche at first base and Mike Morse in left field, with Morse a backup option at first.

12:50 p.m. ET: MASN.com reports that the Orioles do have interest in Fielder, but general manager Dan Duquette doesn't want fans to get their hopes up just yet.

1:00 p.m. ET: Jon Heyman adds that the O's interest in Fielder is owner Peter Angelos' "secret mandate."

2:03 p.m. ET: Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com reports the interest in Fielder is not heavy and his name didn't even come up during the Orioles' morning briefing.

Phillies, Rollins, Ramirez, Polanco

• While the Phillies have not rushed to sign starting pitcher Cole Hamels to a contract extension -- he's due to be a free agent after the 2012 season -- there is a strong expectation from both sides that a deal gets done eventually, reports Knobler.

• The Phillies are strong players for free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez, reports Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. MLB.com's Todd Zolecki confirmed the interest, but surmises Ramirez is merely a backup plan in case the Phillies can't retain shortstop Jimmy Rollins. On Rollins, his options could be dwindling. ESPN.com's Buster Olney is reporting that the Phillies' only competition for Rollins are Milwaukee and St. Louis.

1:05 p.m. ET: Knobler reports the Brewers are in on everyone at shortstop and third base, but not far along in negotiations.

12:57 p.m. ET: Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the Phillies are actively shopping third baseman Placido Polanco. Dealing him would free up a spot for Ramirez.

2:35 p.m. ET: Rollins' agent -- Dan Lozano -- met with Phillies officials last night and talks "did not go well at all," according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. The report indicates Rollins and Lozano are not backing down from the intially requested five-year contract.

3:18 p.m. ET: Miller reports the Phillies are "definitely" in on Ramirez, but that the Angels (and "others") are also very interested.

5:38 p.m. ET: General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said "honestly, there is no rush to do anything," on the Rollins situation (Matt Gelb).

6:23 p.m. ET: Ramirez wants to play for a winner and has interest from the Phillies, Brewers and Angels, tweets Knobler, but nothing is close yet. The Tigers haven't shown serious interest in Ramirez, either, and probably won't at all, Knobler also notes.

Royals, Angels, Gio Gonzalez

• While they are "downplaying it," the Royals would trade closer Joakim Soria for starting pitching help, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post. This makes sense after the signing of Jonathan Broxton, and we also know the Royals badly wanted to upgrade their rotation. Sherman also notes the Royals would talk about Greg Holland, who posted a 1.80 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 60 innings last year.

2:05 p.m. ET: Heyman reports Gio Gonzalez is one target of the Royals, also noting that highly-touted Royals prospect Wil Meyers is quite popular among opposing teams.

2:50 p.m. ET: Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com says that an executive from an "AL West rival" of the A's believes Gonzalez will be traded.

2:10 p.m. ET: Perhaps the Angels are a match with the Royals? Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports the Angels are seeking help in the back-end of the bullpen, "specifically [an] experienced closer."

7:25 p.m. ET: Scott Miller confirms the report that the Royals like Gonzalez. Miller also learned the Royals are looking for a utility infielder who can play both second and third base.

Willingham

• Nine teams have called on free agent outfielder Josh Willingham, including the Twins, Red Sox, Indians and Reds, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.

4:26 p.m. ET: The Rays are "making a serious run" at Willingham, tweets ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Rosenthal tweets that the Rays aren't close, but are one of the three to four finalists to land Willingham.

Indians

1:04 p.m. ET: The Indians are in on every free agent first baseman other than Fielder and Pujols, reports Heyman, who specifically named Casey Kotchman as being on the Cleveland radar.

Buehrle

2:01 p.m. ET: Coveted free agent starting pitcher Mark Buehrle has been connected to over a dozen suitors. Knobler reports that the left-hander has not eliminated any teams from consideration and is not close to a decision.

4:51 p.m. ET: Rosenthal reports that the Nationals, Marlins, Rangers and Twins are after Buehrle, but that the Twins offer isn't as strong as the others.

Braves

2:06 p.m. ET: Sherman reports that the Braves are one of the teams waiting for free agents Buehrle and C.J. Wilson to sign -- because the Braves will then see if the trade interest in Jair Jurrjens picks up.

Twins, Capps, Rangers, David Murphy

2:42 p.m. ET: The Twins have asked the Rangers about the availability of David Murphy, tweets ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. Rosenthal countered by saying the Rangers are "reluctant to compromise outfield depth."

6:57 p.m. ET: The Twins have re-signed Matt Capps. Full story.

Dodgers, Harang, Hairston

3:29 p.m. ET: The Dodgers are making progress on signing free agent starting pitcher Aaron Harang. Full story.

6:06 p.m. ET: The Dodgers have signed Jerry Hairston. Full story.

Wilson

4:45 p.m. ET: C.J. Wilson has a six-year offer from a team other than the Rangers, reports Jeff Wilson. MLB Trade Rumors notes the Rangers, Angels, Nationals, Marlins and that dreaded "mystery team" are currently in the mix for Wilson's services. If he comes off the market, expect the heat to increase on the already-beloved Mark Buehrle. The two are easily the best left-handed starters out there.

Dotel

6:58 p.m. ET: The teams interested in relief pitcher Octavio Dotel are the Reds, Cardinals, Brewers, Tigers and Mets, reports Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.

Astros

7:23 p.m. ET: The Astros are looking to trade veterans Brett Myers and Carlos Lee. Scott Miller has the full story.

Giants

7:26 p.m. ET: Miller has learned the Giants are willing to trade infielder Jeff Keppinger, outfielder Andres Torres and relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez.

Hat-tip: MLB Trade Rumors

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 3, 2011 11:09 am
Edited on: December 3, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Fired Royals legend says he's done with team

Frank WhiteBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Around the country, most think of George Brett when they think of Royals greats and it doesn't go much beyond that. In Kansas City, though, there's another name in the pantheon -- Frank White. The long-time second baseman of the Royals is, along with Brett, the only former Royal player to have his number retired and to have a statue at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals fired White, a Kansas City native, from their TV crew on Friday. A disappointed White told the Kansas City Star he was done with the team.

"I'm done with the Royals," White told the Star's Sam Mellinger. "In all aspects. I'm tired. I've worked so hard to build my reputation and prove to them that I was loyal."

How loyal has White been? You can call Yankee Stadium "the House that Ruth Built" but Kauffman Stadium is literally the house that White built, as White served on the construction crew of what became the Truman Sports Complex that houses Kauffman Stadium and the Chiefs' Arrowhead Stadium.

White is also the greatest success story of the Royals Academy, a revolutionary program run by the team from 1971-75 to identify talented athletes and teach them the fundamentals of baseball. White, along with U.L. Washington, emerged from the academy and rewarded the Royals with one of the great careers in Kansas City history --  and one that's under appreciated by those outside Royal fandom. White was a five-time All-Star, eight-time Gold Glove winner, the 1980 ALCS MVP and the winner of a Silver Slugger. Beyond that, he spent five years on the Royals coaching staff and managed three years as the team's Double-A manager. In addition, he worked in the team's front office and the last three years as an analyst for Fox Sports Kansas City after being passed over for the manager's job that went to Trey Hillman.

Yahoo.com's Jeff Passan, who lives in Kansas City, tweeted that he was told the Royals fired White because the team thought he was too critical.

Over the last three years, the Royals have gone 203-283, leaving the team open to plenty of criticism. However, we're living in the age where many of the teams can control their message, with the team having final say in who broadcasts the games and sometimes who covers the game in other areas. If you have a business that you want people to frequent, you're not going to be too happy when much of the advertising for your product is negative. On the other hand, if you're hired to be an analyst, you have to tell it like you see it -- good and bad -- to do any less kills credibility and questions the intelligence of viewers.

The Royals are not only insulting their viewers by shutting down a voice that's only describing what he's seeing on the field, they're also insulting their own history. There's little chance the Royals will win in this PR battle, as White respected and loved in Kansas City. On a personal note, I don't have many autographs, but my office does have a Frank White baseball, so I'm probably biased in this case. White deserves better, even if they want him off the broadcasts, do it quietly and offer him another job in the organization, don't fire him and kick him to the curb. That's not how you treat an icon.

"I'm not pissed off," White told Mellinger. "It's just time for this crap to end. Maybe it's just time. People keep saying, you're 'Frank White, you've got a statue.' That don't mean a damn thing to them. Not a damn thing."

It should.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 2, 2011 9:40 pm
 

Friday's rumors: Ortiz, Astros GM and more

By C. Trent Rosecrans

We're getting closer to the winter meetings in Dallas, so talks and rumors will just intensify over the weekend. Expect some deals to get done by this time next week, and by that I mean something bigger than Chris Capuano signing with the Dodgers.

New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine will be in the Dominican Republic this weekend to meet with David Ortiz, who said he hasn't decided whether he'd accept arbitration from the Red Sox. Ortiz said there have been several teams reach out to him, but wouldn't name those teams. (Boston Herald)

While a lot of the attention around the Astros general manager job has been about who isn't interviewing, but Colorado's Bill Geivett and St. Louis' Jeff Luhnow have interviewed with the Astros. (MLB.com)

Dave Magadan will return as the Red Sox hitting coach under Valentine.

Meanwhile, Chris Bosio will be the Cubs' pitching coach under manager Dale Sveum. (Appleton Post-Crescent)

The Marlins have a team policy that they won't include no-trade clauses in their contracts and it was reported that the policy could hurt the team in its pursuit of some of the biggest free agents. However, president Larry Beinfest said the policy has never hurt them before. (Palm Beach Post)

Japanese shortstop Munenori Kawasaki said in a press conference that he was becoming a free agent and was interested in playing in the United States, but only for the Mariners. Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik said he was aware of Kawasaki's statement and would consider signing the former Softbank Hawk. Kawasaki said he'd be willing to accept a minor-league deal. (Seattle Times)

Veteran utility man Mark DeRosa is gaining interest from the Nationals, Rangers, Indians and Pirates. (FoxSports.com)

The agent for Mariano Rivera said the Yankee closer's surgery to remove polyps from his vocal cords "went well, as planned." (New York Daily News)

The Royals announced TV analyst Frank White wouldn't return in 2011. While that's not a big deal on the national scale, White is one of the franchise's best players. A Kansas City native, White is one of just two players to have their number retired by the team. White had served as an analyst the last three years and had resigned as a full-time employee of the Royals in January to concentrate on his TV duties. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! tweeted that White was fired because the team thought he was too critical, which is a shame. White is one of the all-time great Royals and deserved better.

The Reds will play a game against their minor league all-stars on the Tuesday before opening day. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

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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 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.

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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.

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Posted on: November 23, 2011 5:11 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2011 8:04 pm
 

Royals re-sign Bruce Chen

By Matt Snyder

The Kansas City Royals have retained free agent starting pitcher Bruce Chen, the team announced Wednesday evening. Chen has signed a two-year deal worth $9 million with a $1 million roster bonus and up to $1 million in incentives, the Associated Press is reporting.

Chen, a 34-year-old left-hander, went 12-8 with a 3.77 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 155 innings last season. The Royals have been seeking starting pitching to go with their up-and-coming offense, as they've already traded for Jonathan Sanchez. Along with Sanchez and Chen, Luke Hochevar certainly figures to remain in the rotation. For the final two spots, the Royals will probably put youngster Danny Duffy back in the fourth slot. Then they could still seek help outside the organization, go with Felipe Paulino or move Aaron Crow in from the bullpen. I'd bet on Crow.

FREE AGENT TRACKER

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com