Welcome to Part Two of the Royals Mailbag! In case you missed Part One, click here. Although we do our best to keep you all up to date with any and all happenings involving our beloved Royals, there may still be questions that you have that we have not gotten to. Hopefully, these occasional mailbags will be able to get any questions you have answered. If you do have any questions that you want us to feature in upcoming mailbags, feel free to leave them in the comments or post them to our Facebook page.
Our first question today comes from Matthew Shipley who asks “Why doesn’t George Brett coach for the Royals?”
It seems that, if George Brett wanted to be a coach for the Royals, he would have a spot on the coaching staff almost immediately. However, it just seems as though he does not have any interest in doing so on a full time basis. After all, he did step in as a temporary hitting coach last season. While he initially said that he would be there for a month, Brett spent a second month on the job. If he wanted the position, he certainly has the cache and the knowledge to take on the role. It is just not what he wants to do.
Brett may well be around the batting cages, imparting wisdom and providing tips during Spring Training. Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas likely have his phone number in case they want to discuss hitting, or if they need advice. Yet, Brett likes being a part of the front office, which is where he feels that he belongs.
The next two questions come from Gary Wilmes. First, he asks “Who will be the first to go from the arbitration list?”
Based on the list of players that filed for salary arbitration, it seems as though there are three candidates that are the most likely to be moved. Aaron Crow, Tim Collins and Justin Maxwell all have players similar to them on the Royals. There are a multitude of pitchers that could potentially be productive in the bullpen for the Royals, with only six or seven spots in the bullpen. With teams in need of bullpen help, either Crow or Collins could be an attractive trade piece. Maxwell, meanwhile, is a similar hitter to Danny Valencia. Both hit left handed pitching well, and provide solid power off the bench. Maxwell, however, is a part of a crowded outfield situation, and there may not be enough room on the roster for him.
Based on the three candidates most likely to be traded, it would seem as though Aaron Crow would be the first to be moved. Crow does have closer experience, having filled in briefly when Joakim Soria was struggling in 2011. Also, Crow is expected to earn the most in arbitration of the three players, with an anticipated salary for 2014 of $1.9 Million. With all of those factors, Crow is likely to be the first one sent off.
Gary’s next question involves a player that most of us would like to see return to the powder blue. “What are the chances of getting (Ervin) Santana back?”
Right now, everything has been quiet when it comes to Ervin Santana. As of this point, the only real news to come out about Santana is that the Yankees, Twins and Orioles inquired about his medicals. Yet, nothing is eminent. It would seem that, the longer Santana sits in free agent limbo, the better the chances for the Royals.
However, there has still been a major domino yet to fall. With pitchers such as Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez still waiting for offers, it appears as though they are waiting for Masahiro Tanaka to set the playing field. Once he signs, then conversations for those pitchers are likely to accelerate.
The biggest point in favor for Santana returning to the Royals may be that he is tied to draft pick compensation. Kyle Lohse ended up receiving less than expected due to the forfeiture of a first round selection, and Santana may be this year’s Lohse. If that happens, then the odds of Santana returning to the Royals would increase. As things stand presently, those odds may be around 10%, but they may improve if Ervin Santana does not have a job by Spring Training.
Thank you for the questions. Part Three of the mailbag will be posted tomorrow.