As Royals fans, we’ve seen years of bad decision making from the team’s front office. It always seemed that any move the organization made was universally criticized and mocked by fans and media alike. Fortunately, this offseason appears to be turning that trend on its head. While the Jason Vargas contract was met with some derision, particularly for its length, the Norichika Aoki trade and the news of the Royals agreeing to sign Omar Infante seemed to have been applauded by most pundits. No one is proclaiming the Royals to be World Series favorites, but it’s nice to see the franchise’s decisions be cheered instead of jeered. Here’s a look at some reaction to the Infante news, as well as other stories from this past weekend:
- KC Kingdom’s Aaron Reese broke down Infante’s impact on the Royals, both on offense and defense. Despite being roughly an average player, Reese suggests signing Infante is still a massive upgrade, particularly in the short term.
- Joshua Ward of Pine Tar Press said that the Royals made a a sound business move by getting Infante for such an affordable cost. Even though the 4th year isn’t ideal, the team could simply eat the remaining few million dollars in 2017 should they find a better option.
- On Fangraphs, Jeff Sullivan applauds the Royals for the signing, suggesting that while Infante isn’t the best player out there, he could potentially provide more value than Carlos Beltran, whom the team missed out on earlier in the offseason. The team acquired an average player for below-market cost, and they did so without surrendering their first-round draft pick.
- According to Matt Snyder of Motor City Bengals, this move is definitely a good one for the Royals, which may be concerning for Tigers’ fans. Kansas City may not be the AL Central favorite right now, but they have certainly done well this offseason.
- The Kansas City Star’s Sam Mellinger claims that David Glass deserves a bit of recognition for allowing the team’s payroll to climb to another record high. Mellinger doesn’t want to throw a parade, but perhaps a tip of the cap to the team owner is merited.
- On Friday, Jeremy Guthrie was looking for someone to play catch with, and a lucky Royals fan, Daniel Wesley, was happy to oblige. Say what you will about Guthrie’s pitching prowess, but I find it literally impossible to not like the guy.
- On a more somber note, a report came out that former major leaguer Ryan Freel, who committed suicide last December, was suffering from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE. Freel, who played his last big league games in a Royal uniform in 2009, had displayed several symptoms of CTE prior to his death, but a study of his brain tissue confirmed the diagnosis. The news broke on the same day that MLB announced a ban on home plate collisions. The NFL has gotten most of the coverage regarding the negative effects of concussions in sports, but this report is a sad reminder that baseball is not without risk, either.