Other than signing a couple of players to minor league contracts, last week was fairly quiet for the Royals. Even without much news to report, there are always plenty of things to read from around the world of baseball, so here are a few links from the past several days.
– I-70 Baseball’s Paul Hibbard discussed the Royals’ trade for Danny Valencia, and argues that even if David Lough may have had a more impactful season in 2013, the trade still made perfect sense for the Royals. The team had a surplus of outfielders, and a need for a right-handed bat who could help alleviate any potential struggles from Mike Moustakas.
– Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs wrote about Ervin Santana and something his agent tweeted out about a “new devastating pitch.” While the odds of Santana returning the Royals are quite slim, it’s still interesting to see a pitcher supposedly adjusting his repertoire after such a successful season.
– On the SweetSpot blog at ESPN, Mark Simon suggests that the Royals likely won’t lose much defense at all with the addition of Norichika Aoki in right field, although second base may not be as strong with Omar Infante there. The team should still have above average defense at the keystone, but Infante may be a slight downgrade from what the team had last season. Infante’s offense, however, should be more than enough to offset any drop-off with the glove.
– The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo mentions the Royals as one of the teams that may get involved in the Masahiro Tanaka Sweepstakes, even if they won’t be the most aggressive team in the race. As I mentioned on Twitter the other day, there is literally no downside to paying the posting fee for Tanaka. Even if the Royals aren’t that interested in him or think they won’t be able to sign him, putting up a refundable $20 million fee at least gives the team a chance to show the fans that they’re trying. Tanaka is almost certainly going to be well out of the Royals’ price range, but since the posting fee is returned if he doesn’t sign with the team, they should absolutely make an attempt to negotiate.
– This last one isn’t necessarily Royals-exclusive, but at FOX Sports, Ken Rosenthal released his Hall of Fame ballot last week, and he proved that even if one doesn’t want to vote for players who’ve been publicly linked to PEDs, one should still be able to submit a full, 10-player ballot. Rosenthal also discussed his reasoning for why he voted the way he did, and while I disagree with his take on those players with PED-connections, I still applaud that he used logic in filling out his ballot. Some voters are willing to exclude guys like Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza, without any shred of evidence linking them to steroids, simply because “they just don’t look right.”