Why The Royals Can’t Sit Back After 2014: KC State Of The Union For 2015
Why The Royals Can’t Sit Back After 2014 AL Pennant
Jordan Gluck (Featured Writer): Follow @jgluck777
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First congrats to the San Fransisco Giants organization for winning a 3rd championship in 5 years!
Now for the losers who captured Americas heart, and why the Royals can’t sit back and do nothing all offseason.
Frequently after a team wins a championship (for almost any sport) and has that breakthrough season that team tends to try and retain its team from last year while making no additions.
Save for LeBrons Miami heat we haven’t had a team repeat in any sport since the 2004 Patriots and not in baseball since the 2000 Yankees.
Lets not forget that while the Royals did eventually get to game 7 of the World Series they barely got the wild card clinching the spot a couple games above the Mariners and winning that game late.
Here are recent examples of Championship teams who really made very few additions and flopped or performed less than expected the next year.
The biggest example might be the 2010 and 2012 San Francisco Giants who just retained their teams while making no additions and ended up making frantic moves such as trading for Carlos Beltran at the deadline to fill the holes.
Here are what the Royals are facing:
Losing Ace James Shields
Parting with the former number 1 overall pick and talented but injured set-up man Luke Hochevar
Reliever Jason Frasor is now a Free Agent
Top prospect Kyle Zimmer is facing worrisome shoulder issues
They’re payroll this year was about 95 Million and I am expecting they’re budget to be about 108 Million
They have 44 Million committed right now and will accept a club option of 7M on Wade Davis which will drive payroll to 51M. They rejected 12.5M option on Billy Butler which doesn’t mean they don’t want him back, just at a lesser rate. That cost a little over a million on Butlers buyout.
The longest tenured KC player may look to ink a multi-year deal, and may price the Royals out of the loop with 2 or 3 years @ $10 – 1 MIL per AAV.
The potential increase in arbitration ranges from about 25 – 30 Million so I will use 28 million to work with in this scenario. This will leave their current payroll at 80 Million.
DH: Hole left by Billy Butlers option being declined.
RF: The spot left by Nori Aoki but can be filled by either Cain or Dyson but I like them being a platoon in Center with the Lions share of ABs going to cain.
5th SP: Right now that spot is filled by John Lamb.
LR: A big hole occupied by Francisley Bueno.
Bench depth: This is an easy spot to fill and usually cheap as well
Manager: Ned Yost SMH (he’s obviously staying though)
There are some options to help fix this club and get them ready for next season. I think that the most pressing issue for this club is the DH and the RF positions.
They also should be interested in signing a SP as a general rule of thumb is that you will use 7 starters at least a season and organizations such as the Texas Rangers and Colorado Rockies will tell you that if your SP depth stinks you will be drafting near the top.
Also one tidbit is that closer Greg Holland will make near 8M next year and his value as a top shutdown closer will never be higher…You also have to factor that Wade Davis will be paid like a Closer in going forward, and it would be impossible to allocate dollars to both of them going forward without breaking the bank
Here is what I would do:
Trade Greg Holland for some top prospects. Teams like the Colorado Rockies and Chicago White Sox need back end bullpen help and the Rockies in particular posses one of the better systems in the game and they have the 3rd overall pick in next years draft as well.
Due to Coors Field it is difficult for the Rockies to attract pitching to Denver so they need to develop or trade for most of their pitching (although Money does speak and the numbers have been overblown due to their pitchers just not being good.
If you look at the Rockies road ERA it is pitiful with a league worst 4.62 ERA on the ROAD.) and Holland could fit well in Denver. The Rockies have 3 bats that I believe are top 100 prospects that are blocked.
Figure out what you are going to do with 2014 first round pick Brandon Finnegan. He was lights out in the bullpen this postseason but he was a starter in college at TCU and I think he fits that role better.
He can be a starting option for them this season but its important not to rush prospects but rather let them play themselves into a position to get called up. At worst, you could bring him up in the middle of the year to place in the Bullpen or Starting Staff.
Sign Nelson Cruz: Cruz will not come cheap but being attached to draft pick compensation along with his age of 34 will shy away some potential suitors.
The Royals will get a draft pick for James Shields so that will offset losing one for signing Cruz. Cruz adds tremendous power and another veteran presence to the lineup. I expect a 3 YR/$48 – $55 MIL contract with a $18 – $20M Vesting Option (based on PA in 2017 and 2018) with a $ 3 MIL buyout in 2018.
Teams will still shy away from the guy because of his PED past, but he has proven he can rake at any point. Remember, you are the Royals, you are looking for some thump in the middle of the lineup. It will cost you, but your window of opportunity to win is the next 2 – 3 years.
Re-sign Billy Butler: He has been so instrumental to this organization and is currently the longest tenured Royal. His presence in the heart of the lineup has been crucial to this teams success this season and seasons past.
I will guess a 1 yr 8 – 9 M contract is fair as he is only 28 years old and if he has a good season he can seek a big contract after the 2015 season.
There is always a chance another team will offer him a multi-year deal, and so be it. If KC does try to bring him back for more than 1 campaign, they should significantly drop the (AAV) per year.
You must run a team with business in mind and not solely on loyalty or emotion.
If any of these players play up to their potential they will be a huge steal. I’m guessing a 1 YR/$5 – $8M deal would be satisfactory.
Masterson may be able to pick a few more dollars off in Free Agency than the other 2 based on that he was healthy.
The Padres just declined a $4 MIL Team Option on Johnson (who is recovering from a TJ Surgery) – but KC may be able to lure him with a better offer than San Diego wants to make.
Brett Anderson suffered finger and back injuries, only pitching in 8 game starts this year for the Rox. He had dealt with a rash of health issues, but he is just 26 Years Old, and many teams could use him a depth chucker like Kansas City
Sign a veteran reliever like Jesse Crain. Crain was shutdown in 2013 before getting injured and didn’t play at all this past year.
If he comes back to form he could be another nice 7th or the 8th inning guy. I expect a 1yr 1.5M contract with incentives.
Here is what the team would look like:
Potential Free Agent Utility INF
Swingman – Brandon Finnegan
Relief Core (Without Holland, if he is there, everyone climbs down one peg. and a Free Agent Bullpen arm would not be necessary.
Their payroll would now be 103.5M which is 4.5M under budget and should give them some room at the deadline to add salary if they need to.
I think this is a pretty good team and one that could be favored to win the AL Central this time around.
The minor league Starting Pitching prospects in this organization remain strong including Sean Manea, Kyle Zimmer, Brandon Finnegan and a personal underrated favorite in Christian Binford.
They will be allowed to develop and will likely see the minor League field as pitchers go down with injury or suffer from unsatisfactory performance.
This is what I would personally do but it’s of course up to Dayton Moore.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A Big thanks goes out to our featured writer Jordan Gluck for preparing today’s feature post.
Note from Editor: Also congrats to Jordan Gluck for picking KC as the AL Pennant winner in the 2014 season, successfully running the MLB Reports prognosticators for picking at least World Series participant every year since 2011.
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Posted on November 5, 2014, in MLB Payroll and Contracts, MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged 1985 Kansas City Royals, 2014 ALCS, 2014 world series, 2015 kansas City royals, 2015 kansas city royals roster, aaron crow, billy butler, brandon finnegan, brett anderson, carlos beltran, Cheslor Cuthbert, Christian Binford, clay buchholz, colorado rockies, Danny Duffy, david dahl, david ortiz, dayton moore, dom nunez, eric hosmer, francisely bueno, greg holland, hunter dozier, hunter pence, james shields, Jarrod Dyson, Jason Frasor, Jason Vargas, Jeremy guthrie, jesse crain, John Lamb, jordan gluck, Jorge Bonifacio, josh johnson, josh willingham, justin masterson, kauffman stadium, kyle zimmer, lorenzo cain, luis coleman, Mike Morse, mike moustakas, ned yost, nelson cruz, new york yankees, nfl, nori aoki, Russell Wilson, salvador perez, seattle seahawks, tim collins, trevor story, wade davis. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.