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Bleeding Royal Blue

Inside the mind of a Kansas City Royals fan

Month

November 2013

The Ken Harvey Memorial Blooper Reel(Or Some of the Funniest Baseball Bloopers I’ve Ever Seen)

Cincinnati Reds v Houston Astros

Baseball plays 162 regular season games for every team. Then add at the minimum 20 playoff games. With that amount of action, something silly, weird or gross is bound to happen. Bloopers are almost as much a part of the game as popcorn, cracker jacks, and the drunk girl at a game who climbs into the fountains…

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Anyway, I love bloopers. So here are a list of weird, funny or out and out strange things that have happened at the ballpark.

Kevin Seitzer Wishes He Was a Hoover

We all hate the little dribbler down the line. Time is spent waiting to find out whether the ball is going to stay fair or go foul. If that doesn’t work, you try to blow it foul…

Not great audio, but you get the point. Seitzer tried pulling a “Lenny Randle” and failed. But he tried and trying is half the battle, or something. Welcome to Cliche Island. Seitzer was at least creative in his attempt to get the ball to go foul. If only he was that creative while working with Eric Hosmer’s swing in 2012…actually, he might have the better gig now in Toronto.

Phillip Wellman & His Flashbacks

Look, managing a baseball team is hard work. You have to keep track of 25 guys. You then have to remember their names. All of them. You have to pay attention for an entire game. You must make sure someone knows to refill the jug of water. Most of all, you must completely go crazy arguing a call on the field and do it in a creative way.

No one knew who Wellman was before this. Actually, no one does now. But if you mention the minor league manager who uses a rosin bag as a grenade, people remember. That guy. I’m not sure what he is up to nowadays. But I do know the bar has been raised for manager arguments with umpires. Speaking of…

Lloyd McClendon is Taking His Base & Going Home

This is one of my favorites. Sure, you can go crazy like Lou Piniella or Earl Weaver. You can kick dirt, cuss like a sailor, and yell till your face looks like that one kid from Willy Wonka who just HAD to chew that bubblegum-

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-OR…you can just walk off with a base. Like former Pirates manager & current Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon.

Personally, I like the quiet and methodical plan. It does go to show you that yes, you can steal first base.

David Ortiz vs. A Phone

This isn’t a blooper as much as a major meltdown. Look, I hate AT&T’s service as much as anyone, and god forbid you ever have to actually call them, but defiling the bullpen phone might not have been the answer to his problems.

Few things to learn from this. One, Ortiz really believes he knows the strike zone. Like, REALLY. Two, do not sit near him when he loses his mind, or you might end up with part of a phone in your eye(Dustin Pedroia is VERY lucky). And third, I now see that he not only acts like Tony Montana, but sounds like him as well.

Jose Canseco FINALLY Uses his Head

This is a classic. To be fair here to Jose, he wasn’t exactly known for his defense. Also, his career was on the downside at this point anyway. Plus, Cleveland’s old stadium sucked. It was so bad they filmed the movie “Major League” in Milwaukee and acted like it was Cleveland. We knew better.

This is what Jose Canseco will forever be known for. Or for steroids. Or for trying MMA.

Probably not that last one. God, Jose. I’m trying to remember a time where you weren’t a joke. Just admit it was Ozzie doing all these things and all is good.

Ruben Rivera runs…He Runs so far away…

Ruben Rivera was a former top prospect for the Yankees that never really panned out. I have to assume baserunning had something to do with it…

The funny thing is, I remember a play close to this happening when I was in Little League. For the sake of me deciding to be a nice guy, a kid on the other team(who I won’t name) couldn’t figure out which way to run. His entire team was yelling at him to go the other way. Instead, he continued to try and take a detour. But this was in Little League. Rivera did this in a major league game. The bad part is, Jean Segura did something like this just this past season.

Just want to reiterate here, these are major leaguers. Who don’t know how to run the bases. Yikes.

BEES!!!!!

I wish Alfred Hitchcock had written about bees instead of birds. Or maybe this was punishment for Padres fans to have to watch Sterling Hitchcock pitch. I’m picturing Ron Burgundy covering this story…

By the way, cool beekeeper outfit. I should add that to my wish list for Christmas. Just a month away, folks!

Chris Getz Blooper

I typed that into YouTube. This is what popped up. I agree, YouTube!

I’m still surprised Getzie wasn’t on the BioGenesis list…

When Ed Whitson takes his shirt off, you know business has just picked up…

Maybe the greatest baseball brawl of all time is this classic between the Braves and Padres back in 1984. I’m thinking there was more fighting than baseball being played in Atlanta that night.

Pascual Perez with a bat. Ed Whitson without a shirt. A Craig Lefferts sighting. And the smooth styling’s of Todd Rundgren…

They just don’t make baseball brawls like they used to…

Ken Harvey, you are simply the best

There is a reason that this article was named after Ken Harvey. The former Kansas City Royals first baseman really felt like the human blooper. Like this.

Harvey also once got tangle up in the tarp at Kauffman Stadium. There isn’t video of this, so here is an awesome picture.

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Harvey also once(or twice) got hit in the back with a relay throw. Once again, no footage, but it really made you wonder why that guy kept getting to play in the field. So thank you, Ken Harvey. We miss the utter lunacy of having you on the Royals.

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The man they call Pence

No list of odd and strange is complete without something from Hunter Pence. Enjoy.

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I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For: The Vargas Years

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On Thursday, the Kansas City Royals held a press conference for their “Major Announcement”, the signing of left handed pitcher Jason Vargas to a 4-year, $32 million dollar deal. It was well known that the Royals were in the market for a starting pitcher to replace the departed Ervin Santana, who was a solid #2 starter for the team in 2013. Names like Tim Hudson, Josh Johnson and Phil Hughes were all bandied about for Kansas City, but in the end they inked Vargas. This announcement was met with neither joy nor anger by Royals fans…instead, it was met with a very ‘meh’ reaction. So was this a good deal for the Royals? Let’s go ahead and break it down.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Tampa Bay Rays

First is the length of the deal. When I first heard of the signing, this was the part that disturbed me. I am of the belief that very few pitchers are worth a contract over four years. The only ones you should feel confident with are the Clayton Kershaw’s and Justin Verlander’s of the game. If you are not an elite hurler, there should be no reason to give them a long-term contract. Pitcher’s are too fragile and tend to break down at a higher rate than a position player. It is also quite the gamble to do that with a pitcher in his 30’s, normally the age a moundsman starts to regress. So four years for an average pitcher(which I will get into in a bit) just seems like an awful idea. Between Jeremy Guthrie and Vargas, it seems as if Royals GM Dayton Moore feels he needs to add extra years just to get a pitcher to sign in Kansas City. At one point that might hold some truth; but that is not the case in 2013. Coming off of a winning year, the Royals aren’t in the position they were in when they had to sign Gil Meche to a large contract just to get him to listen. Those days are gone. So any talk that they HAD to give Vargas four years is preposterous. Hopefully signing Vargas to that long of a deal doesn’t come back to bite them, which it could. When you sign such a long deal for a guy, that is a commitment you are making to your baseball team despite how the player in question is performing. In this case, the Royals are more likely to stick with him in the rotation longer than they would, let’s say, Bruce Chen, because of their commitment to him. So in the end, the length of this deal is almost an albatross around the Royals neck.

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Now let’s look at the dollars portion of the deal. I actually have no problem with paying Vargas around $8 million a year. The contract actually breaks down to $7 million the first year, $8.5 million for years 2 & 3, then $8 million for the final year. In all honesty, most experts had predicted Vargas would sign for around $10 million a year, so an average of $8 million a year really is not bad. In this regard, the Royals did okay, even if you think Vargas is just a younger Bruce Chen. Which brings us to the next section…

Bruce Chen

If you look at Vargas and his style, it’s hard not to see him as a younger doppelganger of Bruce Chen, or at least his pitching style. Vargas doesn’t break 90 mph on the radar gun, and uses a change of speed as his biggest weapon. Normally with pitchers like Vargas and Chen, you either have to keep the batters off balance, or you are going to get lit up like Snoop Dogg(Lion?) on a tour bus. The last two years Vargas has had pitcher’s parks to call home(Anaheim & Seattle) and yet his home/road splits show two different pitchers:

2013:
Home: 6-2, 3.30 ERA, 79 innings, 60 Ks, 24 walks, .251/.307/.413
Road: 3-6, 4.82 ERA, 71 innings, 49 Ks, 22 walks, .303/.359/.440

2012:
Home: 5-5, 2.74 ERA, 98 innings, 69 Ks, 22 walks, .219/.265/.327
Road: 9-6, 4.78 ERA, 118 2/3 innings, 72 Ks, 33 walks, .266/.315/.495

It’s easy to see that he does fine in a pitcher’s park, but once he is away from there his numbers spike upward…a lot. Kauffman Stadium is more of a neutral park than the last two he has pitched in on a regular basis, and I’m sure the Royals great defense will help him as well. But his number’s at the K over his career don’t exactly ooze confidence from me: Vargas has pitched 20 innings at Kauffman Stadium against the Royals, with two total strikeouts and an ERA of 5.31. These are numbers from a guy who the Royals look to be counting on to be their number 3 starter this year…and maybe more in the future. So go back to that contract: 4 years, $32 million. Bruce Chen probably could have been re-signed for 2 years and around $12 million. That is way less of a commitment and less money for the same kind of pitcher. Plus, Bruce Chen is funnier. Just saying.

Jason Vargas

Now, don’t take this as me disliking Vargas. I think if the Royals were using him as the #4 or 5 starter I would have less of a problem with this. Vargas will eat innings and have games where he will look unhittable. He will be what he is: a solid, inning eating average pitcher. Hey, we all know the Royals need innings as much as anything. The sad thing is the Royals are at a point where they can contend, yet bought like they just want to get by. The window for this Royals team to win is very small, as James Shields will become a free agent after this upcoming weekend. Logic says the Royals should have gone out and gotten a solid #2 starter for the rotation. Was one available? Maybe not on the surface, but a guy like Scott Feldman or Phil Hughes might have more upside than Vargas does. Yes, Hughes would have been a gamble, but that is kind of what this team needs to do now. Instead, the Royals gave a large contract to a league average pitcher. If he is to be believed to be Santana’s replacement, it will be a step down.

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The one way around this is if Danny Duffy or Yordano Ventura step up this year and show the stuff that scouts have been saying about them for years. Duffy seems like a long shot, since he can’t seem to stay healthy or keep his pitch count down. He has the stuff and the talent, he just needs to stay off the DL and throw less pitches. Ventura had both good and bad moments in his September call-up. It’s hard to see his triple digit fastball and not get excited, and there is a very good chance he is as special as we’ve been told he is. But rookies don’t always flourish right out of the gate, so it’s hard to predict just what kind of pitcher he will be in 2014. There is also the outside chance Kyle Zimmer will jump from AA to the majors, but a lot of things would have to go right for that to happen. Either way, much like last year, the Royals are counting on more improvement than regression. It’s a scary gamble to take.

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So I hate the length of this deal, but more than anything I hate what this signing stands for. It probably means the Royals have made their big move of the winter and it was for a pitcher who reminds me of Bruce Chen and looks like Rodney Ruxin. I think Vargas will be a serviceable pitcher and should be a steady arm for Kansas City to count on. But the Royals need more, which puts more pressure on Duffy, Ventura and Zimmer to be more of a savior for this pitching staff. If this pushes Wade Davis out of a rotation spot, the deal looks better. But it’s not the deal I would have made, and it makes you wonder just how in it  Kansas City will be for 2014. The rest of the American League Central looks to be improved for next year, so for the Royals to keep up with the Jones’ they need to improve as well. Sorry, Jason Vargas. You are a step down at this point. Nothing personal. At least you have security. Four years worth, in fact.

Royals Off-Season Needs: Second Base

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So far we have taken a look at right field and starting pitchers, the two main areas of concern this off-season for the Kansas City Royals. Now we take a look at the other need, which is second base. The only thing is I’m not so sure it’s of huge concern to this team. Sure, the Royals would prefer to use Emilio Bonifacio in a super utility role, which I also think is the best spot for him. But there’s also been word going around they would be okay if Bonifacio started the year playing second. Since there is a good chance at least that the Royals will browse the second base market, let’s take a look at some of the options and the likelihood any of them will be acquired by Kansas City.

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Robinson Cano

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

No. Won’t happen. Period. But man, would that confuse some Royals fans. Do you boo or do you cheer?

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Mark Ellis

This would be interesting, just for the reasoning that Ellis was originally drafted by the Royals. Ellis has put together a pretty successful major league career since his days in the Royals farm system, and would at least be a solid player at second base. He won’t hit a lot of home runs, or knock in a ton of runs. He won’t play flashy defense or wow you with his speed. But he is solid. At 36 his best years are probably behind him, but if he hits .270, plays solid defense and is a clutch bat in the lineup, he would be an improvement and good for a one or two year deal. Ellis isn’t a long term solution at the position, but it could happen.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers

Omar Infante

Infante is a lot like Ellis. Solid bat, solid defense and is even a bit younger. I’m not so sure Infante will want to leave Detroit, but for the right price I think Dayton could swing this. Infante would be a good bat to put in the second spot of the batting order and is a good contact bat. Like Ellis, not much power, but he is nothing to sneeze at and would actually make the lineup a bit more credible. He can also play around the infield and outfield, so if someone came down with an injury, Infante could bounce around. Definitely one worth consideration.

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Brian Roberts

Roberts is an interesting player, just because it’s been so long since he has been healthy. Last year was the most games Roberts had played in since 2009 and he only played in 77 games. Roberts has been the walking wounded for so long you wonder just how much of his skills are still intact. If healthy, Roberts can provide some pop and a bit of speed, even though that has eroded a bit thanks to the injuries. Roberts can probably be had pretty cheap, but there is no guarantee he will stay healthy. If Dayton would go this route, he will have to have a backup plan, as Roberts just isn’t reliable. That last sentence alone will probably be why the Royals stay clear of him.

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Rafael Furcal

Furcal is a real possibility at this point, at least in that the Royals have at least shown interest in him. Furcal is coming off of Tommy John surgery, which is a bit different for positional players compared to pitchers. Carl Crawford came back from it and seems as good as new. Furcal probably will as well, and I would assume his gun of an arm will still be a weapon. Furcal is still a risk, but a risk worth taking. The injury should make it to where he could be had at a bargain, and he would be a nice addition to the top of the Royals lineup. Even if he isn’t what he was during his prime, he still has moderate speed and a bit of pop in his lineup. He would need some time figuring out second base, as he has only played 36 games at second in the majors, and most of those were early in his career. For the right price, Furcal could be a steal for Kansas City.

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Yuniesky Betancourt

Seriously, I would like to think this is a joke. Really, I wish I was just being a smart ass here. But…Dayton has acquired him twice. Yes, once wasn’t enough. You wouldn’t think they wouldn’t want to acquire him, let along play him regularly at second base. Anyone who has seen him play on a regular basis blatantly sees his flaws. But there is something about him that Dayton Moore likes. What? I don’t know. So he is an option…until he isn’t an option.

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Jerry Hairston, Jr.

Sure, Hairston isn’t a permanent solution. In fact, he is probably a lot like Miguel Tejada last year for Kansas City-on his last legs. But I like Hairston, as he is incredibly versatile and is able to do about anything that a manager asks of him. Actually, the more I think about this, I would prefer the Royals sign Hairston for their bench. A signing like this would give Bonifacio the second base job and give a solid backup for about anywhere on the diamond. Hairston’s best days are behind him, but every good team needs a solid bench if they expect to go anywhere. Hairston would give the Royals just that.

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Michael Young

I’m just going to go ahead and say it: Michael Young will probably be a Kansas City Royal in 2014. In what role, I don’t know, but I can see this happening. It could be at second base. It could be as a DH, if the Royals trade Billy Butler this off-season. Either way, I easily can see this happening. Do I agree with it? No. I would have loved having Michael Young 5 years ago. Today? He is a backup at best, and I’m not even for sure he is good at that. I hope they avoid Young like the plague. But I have a feeling…

Brandon Phillips

Brandon Phillips

I thought I would throw Phillips in, since Cincy is shopping him, but let’s be straight up right now; I don’t think this is going to happen, and I really hope it doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong, Phillips is a fun player to watch. But…his offense is not as great as some think. In fact, I would almost say he is regressing. He can’t take a walk, and let’s be honest-we have enough of those players already on the Royals. His defense? Not as good as you think it is. Sure, he’s flashy and can pull off plays a lot of guys can’t. But his range is slipping and sometimes messes up the routine plays. Add in how he can be a headache at times and his huge contract, and it is safe to say Phillips is a no-go. Let’s hope the Royals look at him the same way.

Kansas City Royals second baseman Chris Getz (17)

Looking at this list, and I almost think the Royals will start the year with Bonifacio at second. I think Furcal or Young have a decent chance of being there, but outside of that I don’t think there is much more than a slight chance for the others I listed. If it’s Bonifacio, I’m okay with that. He did a great job taking over the spot late in the year and that doesn’t mean the Royals won’t try to find someone during the season. Above all else, Bonifacio starting probably means one more thing; Chris Getz will be gone. Just throwing that out there puts a smile on my face. Whichever way the Royals go in 2014, second base will be a Getz-free zone. That within itself is an improvement.

Konnichiwa, Dozer

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Not huge news, but news nonetheless. Word leaked out today that Royals pitcher Luis Mendoza was being released today so he could sign a contract to go pitch in Japan in 2014. This is not a huge loss for the Royals, as Mendoza had become a long reliever and most in Royals management pegged him as nothing more than that (ie. Neddy Yost). Either way, Mendoza had been with the team for a few years now, and he will be remembered for a few things. For one, this was a guy who had an awful Royals debut back in 2010. Mendoza appeared in 4 games that and came away with a 22.50 ERA-in other words, 4 innings pitched, 10 runs given up. 10 runs!! Mendoza would then go to AAA Omaha, where he knew changes needed to be made. He told then Omaha pitching coach Doug Henry to help him, and he didn’t care how. Henry changed his motion, got Mendoza to throw the ball more over the top and moved his starting point on the pitching rubber. What transpired was a dramatically different pitcher, one who by the time 2011 had ended, had positioned himself into at least consideration for the Royals rotation in 2012. Mendoza then went to Spring Training that year, pitched lights out and won himself a job. Mendoza had a rough first half to that season, but was one of the most consistent starters the Royals had in the second half of 2012 and basically forced the team to keep considering him for a spot in this past year’s rotation. Mendoza started the year as a starter in Kansas City, but by July 7th he had been switched to the pen. Mendoza would spend the rest of the year there, though he was used very sparingly over the last six weeks of the season. ‘Dozer’ was a great story, that of a guy who went from being an afterthought to someone who worked his way onto the team. As much as I will miss his pitching, more than anything I will miss his hair. Oh, that beautiful, wavy, immaculate hair:

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Luis Mendoza

Minnesota Twins v Kansas City Royals

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MLB: Kansas City Royals at Seattle Mariners

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Those locks are going to be hard to replace. Best of luck, Dozer. We wish you nothing but the best.

Still Better than Hemorrhoids, Right George?

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George Brett is a baseball legend. He’s a God in Kansas City. He is not only the greatest baseball player in Kansas City Royals history, he is the last true great player they developed. So over the years George has been able to get away with more than most people would. You’ve heard the stories. George is rude to a few fans on the golf course. He acts like a jerk when you go up to him with an autograph while he is eating. He isn’t fond of some of the media. He doesn’t like a stalker ask him for an autograph while at KCI:

Now, there is a whole story behind this. You can read all about it here. The short and skinny of it is that the guy has practically stalked him for awhile, gotten autographs from Brett(that the guy has then turned around and sold) and ” Brett is tired of the man’s relentless demands and behavior”, as he told a Royals spokesman. It makes sense to me. I can easily see where famous celebrities get tired of everyone hounding them 24/7, constantly wanting something from them. But this isn’t the first time something like this has happened:

Brett hasn’t ever really been able to keep his cool, even on the diamond:

I’m sure if you are a Royals fan reading this, you’ve heard stories. I have. Stories that basically don’t paint George in a good light. Stories that make him seem surly. Stories that make him look like a Grade A ass. I’m sure you’ve all heard one from someone you know, or maybe you even have one of your own. It’s not a big secret that Brett isn’t always the most fan-friendly person in the world.

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But here is the thing: can you imagine BEING George Brett? He is the King of KC. Everyone still loves him, which means everyone wants a piece of him, even in public. Even when he is out with friends or with family. At some point, even the most polite person would get sick of it. The act would wear thin. Sure, at times George could handle those things better. But I don’t think we as fans should expect him to be perfect just because he is the reminder of good baseball in Kansas City. He might be our hero, but he is still human.

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Sure, George Brett is my favorite player of all time. He is a big part of why I love baseball. I don’t always agree with actions like this when I hear about them, but I get it. I wish more people understood that being George Brett for one day would wear you down. This guys does it EVERYDAY! Maybe a little bit of slack should be cut for him. The guy isn’t perfect, and we shouldn’t expect him to be. I’m not saying that as a fan; I’m saying that as a fellow human being who sometimes myself feels overwhelmed…and trust me folks, I’m no George Brett! Remember that the next time you hear one of those stories. Just let George be George. If that isn’t enough, watch this video where my baseball idol talks about crapping his pants in Las Vegas. If this doesn’t scream he isn’t perfect, I don’t know what will!

 

Royals Off-Season Needs: Starting Pitcher

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With a current crop of free agents now free and able to work out new contracts for the 2014 season, now is as good a time as any to take a look at one of the Kansas City Royals needs for next season. We’ve already taken a look at right field so now it’s time to take a look at the other major need, starting pitching. Now, the Royals don’t need as much help in this category as they have in years past, but with Ervin Santana looking to be gone, they will need to replace him AND maybe even pick up a second arm(you know, because injuries do happen). So with that said, let’s look at some of the team’s options at starting pitcher.

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Ervin Santana

I know, I know. I already said he is gone. I firmly believe Kansas City isn’t going to be able to match the years and dollars that Santana is probably due, so he is as good as gone. But…there is that outside chance he could stay. Kansas City followed normal protocol this week and gave him a qualifying offer, which is made just as much for the draft pick the Royals would receive if/when he leaves as much as anything. Santana seems to actually enjoy being in Kansas City and is an upbeat part of the locker room. He even roots for the Chiefs on Twitter! So there is an outside chance he stays. But should he? I hate to say this because I’ve been just as supportive of Santana as anyone else this past season, but part of me wonders if it was a one year thing. Go ahead and look at the career stats. Santana has a history of following a good year with a bad year, or at least doesn’t seem like the most consistent pitcher on the planet. This guy will probably get anywhere from 3-5 years and fairly close to $20 million a season. For those numbers, I just can’t accept that it would be smart for the Royals to re-sign him. I love that he loves this team and wants to be a part of it. But you also have to be smart for the financial sake of the team. So more than likely, Santana will be elsewhere in 2014.

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Bronson Arroyo 

Arroyo seems like just the kind of pitcher Dayton Moore would want to sign, and I’m not completely saying that with snark or sarcasm. On one hand, Arroyo has been about consistent as possible over the years. The man has started over thirty games every year since 2005, and we could probably add 2004, as he started ONLY 29. He obviously is durable and  doesn’t seem to be made of porcelain like some pitchers do. BUT…he also gives up a lot of home runs, and gives up about as many hits per season as innings pitched. In other words, he is close to being a poor man’s Jeremy Guthrie. I like Guthrie, and don’t hate him like some folks, but I also know that part of his success could be attributed to smoke and mirrors. Arroyo is looking for a multi-year deal this off-season, which would seem to scare Kansas City off. But like I said, he seems like the kind of pitcher Dayton likes, so we can’t count him out as a possibility.

Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays

Josh Johnson

There is a big part of me that hates the idea of Johnson signing with Kansas City. For one, he would be one of those pitchers made of porcelain I mentioned just a moment ago. He just seems to have a hard time staying healthy. But there would be upsides to giving him a go. Johnson only wants a one year deal, as he is hoping for a bounce back season and then cash in on it. If the Royals could get him at a decent price, that would be great. We all know that Johnson has electric stuff and even just last season I was aboard the bus that would gladly bring him to Kansas City. But another injury riddled season has made me more skeptical about whether or not he can hold up. MLBTradeRumors.com predicted last week that he would sign with the Royals, which seems like the team’s modus operandi. Take a chance on a pitcher and get him at a good price. I’m fine with this if a)he doesn’t get paid too much and b)he isn’t counted on to be a major part of the team. Just like the Royals did with Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino this year, if Johnson ends up in Kansas City they should just be happy with whatever they get from him.

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Scott Feldman

This feels a bit like deja vu. I mean, last year I felt like the Royals should go after this guy. Feldman was a reliever for Texas for the longest time before they shifted him to the rotation, where he found a bit of success. The Cubs signed him to a nice deal last off-season, then flipped him to Baltimore for a couple of young arms. A smart move by Chicago, who knew they weren’t going anywhere in the standings. Feldman is a free agent again, and he would seem a perfect fit for the back part of the Royals rotation. Feldman isn’t flashy, but he gives you innings, keeps the ball in the park and keeps the ball down. There is even a good chance he has even more success in a ballpark like Kauffman, the opposite of the parks he has called home in his career(Arlington, Wrigley and Camden). Feldman probably isn’t a top of the rotation guy, but he is a great fit in the back end and could probably be had at a decent price.

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Tim Hudson 

This would be a long shot for the Royals, but I would love to see Hudson in Kansas City blue. Hudson is coming off of a gruesome injury, so he probably isn’t going to get a long term deal, or even one that is pricey. Most expect him to end up back in Atlanta, and that is probably where the safe money is. But Hudson is a former Brave(see that? I just got Dayton Moore’s attention!) and a former top of the rotation starter. He’s not completely what he used to be, but he would still be a great addition for a team that is on the brink of playoff contention. The Royals should at least kick the tires on Hudson and see what it would take to sign him. Seems like a better option than someone like Dan Haren(who’s back issues scare me).

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Phil Hughes

Hughes had an awful 2013 season. Like, REALLY AWFUL! To give you an idea, Hughes had over 30 starts, yet threw only 145 innings this past year! His biggest detriment was the long ball, which accounted for his stats to be so bloated. The positive that teams have taken away from Hughes though is that his ERA away from Yankee Stadium was a decent 3.88. It would seem that throwing in the Bronx, a park with a very short right field, does more damage than good for Hughes. There’s a good chance that Hughes will not be returning to New York and will want to sign a one year deal somewhere. Hughes at ‘The K’ could be interesting. He is at least someone to look into.

BASEBALL: World Baseball Classic-Korea vs Venezuela

Suk-Min Yoon 

I mentioned earlier that mlbtraderumors.com predicted the Royals would sign Josh Johnson, and they also predicted Kansas City would sign Yoon. Yoon has been in the Korea Baseball Organization and is looking to make the jump to MLB. This seems like a weird choice, since Yoon had a rough 2013, as his velocity was down after competing in the World Baseball Classic. Yoon looks to be a back of the rotation arm, but with the decreased velocity might end up in a bullpen somewhere. As we are all aware, the Royals have bullpen arms. They don’t need another. Especially one who’s agent is Scott Boras, which means you will probably overpay for them. Just say no, Dayton. Step away.

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That’s just a look at some options the Royals will have this winter on the free agent pitching market. For all we know, Moore will make a trade and acquire a pitcher that way(for say, Billy Butler?) but if not there are some decent arms on the market. I could mention a few more that interest me(Burnett? Only wants to go back to Pittsburgh. Johan Santana? questions on if he can come back from injury) but these are some good choices. Either way, the Royals need a starter or two for next year if they want to compete. The team was lucky in 2013, as no major injury hit their way, so the chances of that happening two years in a row is slim. For all we know, a guy like Duffy, Paulino or Yordano Ventura will take up a slot and fill a void. Even if that happens, standing pat isn’t an option. Last year Dayton brought in two big starters. Competing means you have to go all in, and the window isn’t open for long. Let’s just hope the Royals are at least smart about this, rather than treat it like Monopoly money.

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