Current Off-season Opinions

The baseball off-season is amazing. I’m constantly trying to stay tuned in to everything happening  and watching who goes where. This is a result of several things.

1) It’s one of the few off-seasons in recent memory where I’ve felt as if the Royals actually might be able land some decent free agents if they so desired. It’s not as if I had anyone I was absolutely in love with, but the Royals have money to spend so I figured they might make some interesting moves. Especially in regards to our rotation.

2) I’m looking for different things to write about.

3) I’ve been wondering all season where Pujols was going to end up. When it was announced that he was going to the Angels, I really couldn’t believe it. I thought the guy was going back to STL. Seeing him in an Angels uniform is gonna be weird.

4) I wanted to see how much money was going to be spent.

That last reason is actually one of the more important ones. It’s amazing to me the amount of money that’s been thrown around.

1) LA Angels – Uhh…they signed Poopies. For 10 years at 254 million and a full no-trade clause. As if that wasn’t enough, they signed C.J. Wilson as well for 5 years at 77.5 million. That’s 331.5 million dropped all in the space of a couple of hours on Thursday morning.

2)Miami Marlins – These guys have been spending like maniacs too. They’ve split 191 million between Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell. They also took a pass at Pujols. And by pass I means a 10 year deal at 275 million. With incentives, it could have almost been 300 million. (It almost seems as if they’re trying to buy fans…oh, wait)

That much money offered to players is amazing to me. Could you ever in your right mind imagine the Royals spending that much money on players? I sure can’t. But did you know that back when the Royals were at their best, they typically were in the top half of the league when it came to payroll? This hasn’t really been the case ever since David Glass took ownership of the team. (A sad truth.) I’ll show you. Below I’ve listed the Royals payroll by amount and MLB ranking since Glass took sole ownership of the Royals.

2000: $23,132,500 (28th)
2001: $35,422,500 (27th)
2002: $47,257,000 (22nd)
2003: $40,518,000 (29th)
2004: $47,609,000 (22nd)
2005: $36,881,000 (29th)
2006: $47,294,000 (26th)
2007: $67,116,500 (22nd)
2008: $58,245,500 (24th)
2009: $70,519,333 (21st)
2010: $71,405,210 (21st)
2011: $36,126,000 (30th)

The question that resides after one takes a look at this list is whether there’s a happy ending to this story. At first glance, it doesn’t look too good. But there is hope, I think. What I’ve started to focus on is WHERE the money is spent as opposed to HOW MUCH is spent. Dayton Moore has invested in 2 things that have given us cause to believe this team is going somewhere. He’s invested in the draft and he’s invested in world-wide talent.

Honestly, those are some of the really better moves he could make. In the past years, the only way the Royals might have been able to sign a big name free agent would have meant them not just merely overpaying for a player’s services, but paying an obnoxious amount of money with a contract that would have to be player-friendly in a most unheard of sense.

Actually, if we’re honest, I think we can agree that there’s the no way a big-time free agent would have signed with the Royals in the last ten years. No way. There was no hope to win here. We had to overpay to get Gil Meche and Jose Guillen who were certainly not superstars. One of them sort of panned out and would have been even better if his body hadn’t been destroyed by the coaching staff. As for Guillen, well, that’s a chapter Royals’ lore I’d like to keep closed.

It’s been speculated that the fact that our payroll broke 70 million in ’09 and ’10 means that we’ve got money to spend. However, Moore has said that he hasn’t thought the MLB free agent for starting pitching is weak and I tend to agree for the most part.* Sometimes the best decision is the one that isn’t made.

*I wouldn’t condemn him for taking a run at Oswalt.

I don’t want him to overpay for a pitcher that we all eventually regret just because he felt the need to shore up our starting pitching as quickly as possible. I don’t want him to give up Myers unless he’s going to get someone like Felix Hernandez or Clayton Kershaw. We’ve got multiple options for our starting rotation next season. I certainly don’t think it’s going to be a deadly dearth of arms, but I wouldn’t mind waiting and seeing how they shaped up this season.

Unless we could get Roy.

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Tags: Dayton Moore KC Royals KC Royals Seasons MLB Free Agency

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