Baseball Ramblings: Stanton’s Mega Deal, Country Breakfast heads West and what it all means for the RoyalsFollow @RoyalsBlue_com
The “Hot Stove” is really cooking right now.
Yeah…that was lame. I apologize.
This past weekend kicked off with the Marlins dropping a bomb in signing slugger Giancarlo Stanton to a record $325 Million contract over the next 13 seasons. That’s a lot of money, man. Good for you, the man formerly known as Mike Stanton. But, as for the rest of baseball…O U C H. That’s good for $68,449 EACH DAY for 13 YEARS.
A number of people had speculated after watching the lengthy rich contracts of Barry Zito, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and the like, crash and burn near the middle of the contract term, or beginning in Zito’s case, that it may signal the end of the 10+ year mega deals. WELP. No. Then, on Monday, 31 year old free agent catcher, Russell Martin inked a 5-year, $82 million deal with the Blue Jays. Also on Monday, the Atlanta Braves sent outfielder Jason Heyward and relief pitcher Jordan Walden to the St. Louis Cardinals for starting pitcher Shelby Miller and minor league arm, Tyrell Jenkins. Late last night Royals designated hitter, Billy Butler agreed to a 3-year, $30 million deal with the Oakland A’s.
While it’s sad to see his Royals career end, we all should have anticipated his departure after his performance over the past two seasons, as well as his apparent complicated relationship with Royals manager, Ned Yost. Butler was the best Royals hitter on a bad Royals team for many years, and his smile and presence will be missed. Butler was a .295 hitter in eight years and only George Brett, Frank White, Amos Otis, Hal McRae, Willie Wilson, Mike Sweeney & Freddie Patek played in as many games with the Royals as Butler did. Alex Gordon is 134 games back. Butler in Royals history: At Bats (7th)* Hits (7th) Doubles (6th)* HRs (7th)* RBI (6th) Avg. (3rd) Walks (6th)* (*Alex likely to pass in 2015.)
This AWESOME A’s welcoming Butler to Oakland Vine, though:
Those high dollar amounts and years might just about knock the Kansas City Royals out of any significant free agent signings. If the prices in the market are starting out like that, we have nearly no chance. Obviously Stanton wasn’t a free agent, but we have some young players here in K.C. that might like a big pay day. Like an Eric Hosmer. If there was a chance that Hosmer could have been signed to an extension before reaching free agency, I think that chance is now way gone. I wouldn’t dream of comparing Hosmer to Stanton, because it isn’t close. What they do have in common though is youth and promise. You can bet Hosmer has his sights set on a big time contract, not a team friendly extension.
Our Royals are going to have to do what they’ve always done. Shop the clearance items and scratch and dents. General Manager Dayton Moore is going to have to work his magic again and find the good piece of hay in the haystack.
Let’s take a look at the haystack, shall we? We’ll start with filling that RF and/or DH role(s): Bobby Abreu, Nori Aoki, Melky Cabrera, Endy Chavez, Nelson Cruz, Chris Denorfia, Johnny Gomes, Scott Hairston, Torii Hunter, Reed Johnson, Ryan Ludwick, Nick Markakis, Michael Morse, Colby Rasmus, Alex Rios, Nate Schierholtz, Ichiro Suzuki, Josh Willingham and Delmon Young.
I don’t think anyone in this list is out of our price range, save for maybe Nelson Cruz. If the Royals chose to go with Torii Hunter, I’d prefer a 1 year deal. Nick Markakis wouldn’t be a bad option, though he would make our lineup more left hand heavy. I expect him to return to the Orioles so he’s likely not an option anyways. Alex Rios is also somewhat intriguing, though he is a very up and down player. You never know what you’re going to get from the athletic outfielder. Michael Morse, Colby Rasmus, or bringing Willingham back on a 1-2 year deal would be satisfactory for me as well to fill the DH role and play part time in the OF. Those are likely the kind of players or deals we can expect to see, anyways. A number of people want no part of Hunter, and while he wouldn’t be my first choice, I don’t think a one year commitment to him would be horrible. There really is no such thing as a bad one year-deal for any franchise. Hunter is reported to be looking for two years.
Next we’ll look at the free agent SP’s: Brett Anderson, Burke Badenhop, Scott Baker, Chris Capuano, Ryan Dempster, Gavin Floyd, Aaron Harang, Roberto Hernandez, Josh Johnson, Kyle Kendrick, Hiroki Kuroda, Jon Lester, Francisco Liriano, Paul Maholm, Justin Masterson, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jake Peavy, Brad Penny, Ervin Santana, Johan Santana, Joe Saunders, Max Scherzer, James Shields, Tim Stauffer, Edinson Volquez, and Chris Young.
A lot of these guys I want no part of. For example, Brett Anderson, Brad Penny, Joe Saunders and Tim Stauffer. Anderson once showed a lot of potential. So did Mark Prior and Rich Harden. Anderson simply cannot stay healthy, period. Some of these guys aren’t options for the Royals because the cost and commitment will likely be too much. See, Max Scherzer, James Shields and Jon Lester. There are rumors of the Royals talking to Lester’s agent though, which is a pleasant surprise. I’ll only believe he is a real possibility when he’s in a Royals press conference after signing. Boston, the team that traded him at the deadline supposedly has a 6-year, $110-$120 Million offer on the table. I’d like to think that Ervin Santana, Liriano or Kuroda would be possible for the Royals, however these early signings dollar amounts and years do give me concern. Justin Masterson or Gavin Floyd, having familiarity with the AL Central might not be bad options for the Royals. Masterson is coming of a terrible year, yet is young enough to rebound. Gavin Floyd can be a serviceable 4 or 5 SP.
The Royals will likely have to fill one of their holes (RF, DH and SP) via a trade. The options there are many, too many to list. That said, one cannot just pull a random name from one team and claim them available, like we’ve seen from some Royals fans in social media. Some thought we could get Giancarlo Stanton for Herrera, Duffy and Colon a week ago. I mean, c’mon people. Even if the Marlins were shopping Stanton, and as much as we love our guys, let’s be realistic. We’d have to add Gore, man. I kid. There are rumors of the Royals talking with the San Diego Padres about one of their starting pitchers, Ian Kennedy. I believe he would be a very nice addition to fil the rotation spot vacated by James Shields. Kennedy would make for a very nice number 2-3 behind Yordano Ventura and possible Danny Duffy.
No one should be off limits on this team or in our farm system in a trade. I mean NO ONE. Even our precious Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar, along with their team friendly contracts. If we can make our team on the field better, any player should be available in trade. We’ve got some unfinished business from the 2014 season. Let’s fill those roles right, and #TaketheCrown in 2015. Pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 19.
One final note: The Royals have brought back CHRIS GETZ to be a part of their front office. That is a true statement. This should come as no surprise as it was evident that Ned and Dayton couldn’t stand to be away from Getz for any extended amount of time when he was a player with the organization. Even when the (correct) moves were made to ship him to Omaha, where he best fit as organizational depth, he was always returned to the MLB team quickly…and inserted into the leadoff spot right away (this did happen.”
Chris Getz, Forever Royal.
Follow Conrad on Twitter: @ConradMcGorkin
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