Out of curiosity I went to MLB.com to see who was remaining on the list of free agents during the “hot stove” season of baseball. I’m sure that the Royals might be done shopping so once again I’d like to throw some names that are based on needs for Dayton Moore to consider to at least bring to Surprise for minor league deals.
How about Jon Garland? Garland, who many of us remember his days with the Chicago White Sox had six straight seasons of 10 or more wins from 2002-07. The string continued until last year where he was injured most of the season where he was just 1-5 in just nine starts. I mainly like this as a veteran who could come in and stabilize a young staff or let him hide out at Warner Park regaining his old form.
My next pitcher is another righty who I actually saw at the College World Series with the Tulane Green Wave. Micah Owings was drafted by the Diamondbacks and then spent a couple years in Cincinnati before going back to Arizona last year. Here is what I like in addition to being a tweener (starter or reliever). He can hit off the bench which could be valuable at any point if the Royals got desperate in a game. His homeruns allowed numbers I attribute to pitching at two home run friendly parks.
One of my favorite relievers in the AL recently has been Pat Neshek. He had a rough year in San Diego last year, but I remember him being on my Royal pain list (it’s a long offseason I will present that list). It would be cost effective and you have the option of storing him with the Storm Chasers until the need arises.
Another name Royals fans will recognize is Carlos Guillen who played with the Tigers from 2004-11 in their infield. Sure he’s a little older than some of the others on this list but he has postseason experience and is versatile. He’s played the bulk of his career at short but has experience at first, second, third and leftfield. This would be another great guy to sign to a minor league deal as a just in case situation.
The final name that catches my attention is Xavier Nady. Nady is a bench guy that would really help KC next season and could give Frenchy, Hos or whoever a day off and can play all three OF spots. His best stretch of baseball came between 2005-08 while with the Padres and Pirates when he averaged 18 HR’s and 68 RBI’s with ’08 being a career year.
This is primarily filled with pitchers since that is the teams larger need as we approach spring training in the coming weeks. Adding competition to the fourth and fifth spots with these guys in camp simply wouldn’t hurt the team during camp and worst case they play at Omaha only to get promoted if guys struggle. Names like Guillen and Nady are versatile players who can help if they were to beat out another bench player.