Before the winter meetings even started, the fireworks were already going off in the baseball world, as the Nationals signed Jayson Werth out of nowhere and the Red Sox acquired (after some jostling) Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres. Once the meetings began, Cliff Lee entertained various teams calling about his services, Carl Crawford cashed in and a bunch of shortstops played musical chairs.
They aren’t all blockbusters, folks.
What Happened Involving the Royals: First there’s the Cabrera signing. This came after the Royals had ended the suspense and finally signed Jeff Francoeur. Beyond that, the Royals weren’t all that involved. They held firm on their demands for Zack Greinke and fielded calls from as many as eight teams. Ned Yost called 2011 a pivotal year for the franchise since so many prospects who are in the big picture could end up with significant playing time at the big league level. He also mentioned that he’s leaning towards Mike Aviles as the everyday third baseman with Wilson Betemit serving as a super-sub in the infield. On Thursday, the Royals selected Nathan Adcock in the Rule 5 Draft from the Pirates organization.
What Didn’t Happen: Zack Greinke did not get traded. The Nationals, Dodgers, Phillies, Yankees, Rangers, Reds, Marlins, Blue Jays and Brewers were all linked to having interest or discussions with the Royals. There wasn’t much discussion of any other Royals players in trade talks and the Royals weren’t linked to many other free agents.
What It Means: The Greinke trade talks are going to be hanging over the Royals until he signs an extension or gets moved along. The Francoeur signing was more than expected, but the Cabrera signing came out of nowhere. Some speculate it could mean Alex Gordon will be traded, but in my view it’s the end of either the Gregor Blanco or Mitch Maier era in Kansas City. With earlier offseason claims on Lance Zawadzki and Joaquin Arias, the Royals are probably going to go with just one outfielder on the bench and keep a utility guy around. Jarrod Dyson will end up in Triple A more than likely.
The rumor is that Cliff Lee will sign sometime at the end of the weekend, leaving Greinke as the best player available on the market (unless there’s a surprise trade), so teams looking to keep up with the Joneses will be loading up their offers to try to get him from the Royals. Dayton Moore, hopefully, is going to remain patient.