Winter Meetings Day 1: Still Speculating

Monday marked the first day of the Winter Meetings and it was relatively quiet for most teams other than a few signings and a trade between the Oriole and Diamondbacks.

On the Royals side, there have been no signings and no trades.

Although there weren’t any transactions, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t wood on the hot stove, as discussions seemed to be going on all day, mostly about Zack Greinke and a few new teams who could be in the mix as potential trade partners.

  • There are still reports popping up that Greinke is willing to go anywhere.  The Royals have been talking with the Rangers, but according to Bob Dutton, they’re not very impressed by the Rangers’ offers.  The Royals are right to ask for a lot, and if the Rangers don’t offer the right package of players, there are other suitors, including the Toronto Blue Jays and, almost out of nowhere, the Milwaukee Brewers.  The Brewers just traded their top prospect, second baseman Brett Lawrie, to the Blue Jays for Shaun Marcum (of Excelsior Springs, Missouri).  Some names from the Blue Jays that get floated out there are Kyle Drabek, Travis Snider and perhaps Lawrie in a flip.  The Brewers have possibly been holding Lorenzo Cain out of trade talks with other teams as a possible chip to go after Greinke.  One quote states that “Royals officials acknowledge a deal could come together in a hurry” if the Blue Jays were willing to include Drabek and Snider in a deal.
  • The Jeff Francoeur sweepstakes is currently a race between the Royals, the Phillies and the Rockies.  According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, the Royals are picking up the pace in their talks with Francoeur.  I saw one tweet that sent shivers down my spine that the Phillies and Royals are getting into a bidding war.  That can’t be good for anyone (except the Francoeur camp).
  • Dutton also chimed in on the Royals search for a right fielder and listed other options.  I completely spaced out on guys like Andruw Jones even being an option on Sunday, but he might be the ideal fit given that he could be looking for playing time to build up value for a future contract.  The Royals seek someone who is right-handed, has some pop and has something to prove.  They also want that player to be affordable – Austin Kearns is Dutton’s ideal fit.
  • One option I’ll look at more in-depth tomorrow is a player with average speed, good power, average contact and great patience and plate discipline.  The Nationals have mentioned that Josh Willingham (and his .842 OPS and 11.6% walkrate) would be available in a trade.  Rany Jazayerli speculated that Robinson  Tejeda could be a good enough offer to get the 2010 All-Star in Kansas City.

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Tags: AL Central Andruw Jones Austin Kearns Baseball Jeff Francoeur Josh Willingham Kansas City Royals KC Kyle Drabek MLB Robinson Tejeda Royals Travis Snider Zack Greinke

  • Mat Germain

    The best guess Jays fans have come up with is that the Royals won’t budge from Kyle Drabek, while the Jays may be willing to move Travis Snider now that they have a possible new LF or RF in Brett Lawrie (although listed as a 2B, he apparently has big defensive deficiencies at the position).

    The Royals probably will wait, rightfully so, until the Lee situation plays itself out because if another team than TEX or NYY land Lee, the price demands KC can make from those teams increases 2 fold.

    Having said that, if the Jays land Greinke it may very well be for Zach Stewart, Travis Snider, and 2 more prospects including CF Darin Mastroianni (who is a SB and OBP machine – perfect for setting up KC’s future big core of Hosmer/Moustakas/Butler).

    At least that’s my take on it. I actually put in my wish list for this year that KC keeps Greinke for their own sake, but who am I to judge as a Jays fan.

    Good luck to the Royals either way.


    Mat Germain – Jays Journal

  • jonathan

    If you think the blue jays are going to part with Kyle Drabek, Travis Snider and (it just keeps getting better) Brett Lawrie – 3 of the top 100 prospects in the game today – for a pitcher who has never won more than 16 games, had an ERA of over 4 and only 10 wins last year (would have ranked him tied for 4th on the jays staff) and has self-admittedly stated he is reluctant to pitch in a pressure market (making his use towards a pennant drive questionable at best – seems he prefers to pitch on 70-win teams), you are dreaming. You’ll be lucky to get one of those Toronto elite prospects in any deal.

    • Michael Engel

      I think that’s probably about what they’re asking for – and they have every right to ask for it. Greinke’s a legit ace. If you put him on any team that could score runs he’d be a 20 win guy nearly every year. He’s had an above average ERA since returning from his anxiety issues and has one of the best K/BB ratios among starters in the AL. He’s a flyball pitcher, yet doesn’t surrender more than a homer per nine innings.

      2010 was a bad year for him. He wasn’t as good as his 2009 by any stretch, but nobody short of Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez or Cliff Lee were close to his 2009 numbers in 2010 either.

      At barely 27, he’s a guy who can pitch for years and years as a top guy and hasn’t spent a day on the DL for any actual physical injuries, so he’s good for every start every year.

      I’ve yet to see him actually say he doesn’t want to pitch in a pressure market. It’s been speculated that he doesn’t because of his anxiety issues in the past. To follow Zack over the past six years, he’s just reserved and would prefer to keep away from the press. Put the ball in his hand, though, and he’s good to go.

      If Toronto doesn’t want to give that up, that’s fine. There are many other teams interested and if the consolation prize is that we keep Greinke at the top of the rotation, well that’s fine with me.

      As for Lawrie, he was the Brewers top prospect, sure, but they traded him for Shawn Marcum – and don’t get me wrong, Marcum’s solid, but he’s no ace – so that sets the market a little. Lawrie + more would have to be the discussion…and really, Kyle Drabek’s the dealbreaker for both sides. If Toronto is willing to trade him, the deal’s probably just gonna wait on Cliff Lee to sign to be finalized.