Hey...we're just the Royals... Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

We Know Who We Are

Chris Volstad. That’s the initial big splash the Royals made this offseason.

Chris Volstad, your newest Kansas City Royals pitcher. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE

The move itself doesn’t bother me. Why not grab a cheap 26-year-old pitcher and see what happens? Most likely he’ll be used as insurance against injury, as he’s yet to show he can be a successful big league pitcher. But it doesn’t hurt anything for KC to take a gamble.

It’s the attitude of our front office that bothers me. In an article  by Bob Dutton, Dayton Moore said:

“We know who we are and how we have to build this team,” general manager Dayton Moore said, “and how we have to build our rotation. We’re going to be as aggressive as we can, but we know who we are and how we need to do it.”

Ummm…what? How are we supposed to interpret that comment? Does he mean that we know we need depth, so we are being smart and grabbing players we can stash in AAA in case of emergency? Or is he saying that the Royals can never hope to compete in free agency, and we can never dream of picking up an established starting pitcher?

My fear is Moore means the latter. Moore goes on in the same article to say building a team in Kansas City through the free agent market won’t work. Plain and simple. And I don’t disagree…the team doesn’t have the big market dollars to throw around. However, ownership should have enough money to go out and pick up a couple of legit players. If the scouts and front office officials believe in the position players and bullpen, they can afford to spend on a couple of starting pitchers.

If those players aren’t available, the Royals need to look long and hard at whom they are willing to part with in a trade. Moore does say the trade market is a viable option for the Royals, so that’s not out of the question. I also don’t necessarily believe Moore has the stones to pull off a big deal.

The comment from Moore, in my opinion, just reeks of a defeatist attitude. I’ve defended Moore for the most part during his tenure. I think he’s done a lot of great things here with getting David Glass to spend in the draft and raising the team’s presence in the international market, but maybe that’s where Moore belongs. Head of scouting or player development might be more in his wheelhouse.

I guess I shouldn’t fault Moore for setting his sites lower – most people in his position would probably get beaten down after a few years running this team. But the fans deserve better than that.

“We’re going to be as aggressive as we can, but we know who we are…”

Not exactly confidence building words. We’ve gone from Glass saying that we’ll spend money on the rotation and doing what needs to be done…to this. So much for the excitement fans were feeling. The chatter among Royals fans for the last several weeks has been “Who do you think we’re going to bring in? Anibal Sanchez? Dan Haren?”

The talk moving forward will probably sound more like the fans from the first “Major League” movie. “Chris freaking Volstad? Who are these freaking guys?”

(I went ahead and edited that last part for basic cable)

The difference being, of course, this is not a feel good baseball movie where a bunch of loveable losers go to the playoffs. This is real life.  We need a GM who won’t basically go on record and say “Oh well…we’re just the Royals. This how we operate.”

It’s about time for the front office to stop preparing the fans for failure and start figuring out how to win.

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Tags: Chris Volstad Dayton Moore Kansas City Royals

  • jimfetterolf

    The problem is not the money, it is finding a legitimate FA willing to come to KC and front a rebuilding team in the middle of nowhere. Hard to do, so more likely is a Gil Meche, a little overpaid, a couple of years too long. GM Dayton Moore probably has a good idea of who would come here as opposed to someone who just uses KC’s offer as a bargaining chip.

    I’m sure Sanchez and Haren will get looked at, but I consider Sanchez the #2 FA pitcher and he will sign shockingly high and probably with a contender. Haren is possible, as is McCarthy, whose injury history may give a price break off of his considerable talent. I had read that Marcum has already indicated he won’t come home and I doubt Zack comes back to a rebuilder.

    On trades, I’ve been on record for a year or more as favoring trading Alex for a boatload of prospects, the kind of move Oakland or Tampa would make and the move we need to make to build a competitive and sustainable ball club. If an FA is signed, “no-trade” clauses must be avoided. Signing Zack for five and trading him after two or three is the best bet, generating more prospects.

    As for Chris Volstad, doesn’t have a plus pitch but throws downhill and gets grounders. They may think they can fix him and get another Luis Mendoza for cheap.

    • Bob Ellis

      Hey Jim…I think the problem is the money though…at least to a degree. It’s the mentality that we HAVE to build everything through the draft. And if we have to overpay someone, so be it. The Royals have bred this culture of losing and if they are serious about changing that, it’s not going to magically happen by crossing our fingers and hoping Mike Montgomery pans out eventually.

      I am with you on the trade front…whether it be Gordon, Hosmer, Myers, etc. If they are going to get something of value, they have to give something of value. I don’t think we have anyone here who could fetch what Greinke brought back, but Gordon is surely the closest to that value.

      As for Volstad…bringing in more #8 pitchers to compete for spots 1 thru 5 isn’t going to help anyone. Like I said…there is absolutely no harm in bringing volstad in (who knows…maybe they catch lightning in a bottle). Most likely he adds nothing, really, but worth a shot I guess.

      I think the main thing here is Moore stopped short in the Dutton article of even saying “we need to change how free agents perceive us”, etc. He just seems to be ready to accept that nobody will come here and points towards 2014 rather than the upcoming 2013 season…so are we already giving up on 2013?

      • jimfetterolf

        “”we need to change how free agents perceive us”,”

        Only one way to change perception and that is to put a good team together first and give the FA the idea that he can join a team that can go all the way. Even that may not be enough, remember Mark Davis, record FA contract for anyone given to a reliever to get him to come to KC. Or Guillen or Meche? Dayton Moore has, I think, done what is needed to make the Royals a better destination and I think we can agree that without this year’s injuries the Royals would have won 80-85 games and been a couple of FAs from the Series. Just bad luck but the perception still hasn’t changed and won’t until we win 85 games and Hosmer, Moose, and Myers become stars.

        As for ’13, too many variables to know what to expect. Three starters in rehab, big question mark on ‘Zo Cain’s health, is JaKKKe fer realz, is Ventura close, can we get Sanchez and McCarthy? I don’t see anyone giving up on the season, but I don’t think anyone has much of an idea what the team will look like opening day, ASB, or end of season. I certainly don’t. I think Salvy is set, Esky and probably Moose, but Gordon is trade-able, Myers is real close, Cain has wheel problems, 2B is a question mark, Hosmer may need a visit to Omaha to get it back together, and Mendoza and Chen are the only two starters we’re sure of at the moment. I expect GMDM to overpay for one FA and not an impact player at that, and then pray for rehabs and a couple of young guys to step up. That’s all that’s in his control right now, even if he trades Gordon and has $45 mil for FAs. Dodgers and Angels will beat any offer we can make for Greinke or Sanchez and the Angels are probably asking high for Haren, doubt if we can get him for Gio. This may be the most interesting off-season yet.

      • jimfetterolf

        “I don’t think we have anyone here who could fetch what Greinke brought back, but Gordon is surely the closest to that value.”

        Given this some thought, Greinke brought back two young, controllable major-leaguers at premium defensive positions, a hot young prospect pitcher, and a 100mph lottery ticket in exchange for two years at around $14 mil/yr. Not sure how we value the equivalent in minor-leaguers, maybe just by adding “A’s” and assuming a young major-leaguer as 5 A’s. That would value Greinke at 10+3+1 A’s, 14 A’s, for two years at a fairly high contract. Gordon gives 3 years at a cheap contract with high performance, so should be worth at least 2/3rds of Zack, 10 A’s. With 1 AAA, 3 AA, and 1 A, that gives 10 A’s and fills needs if all or at least most are pitchers.

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