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Royals Links: Winter League, Instant Replay, Prospects, & More

Things have been relatively quiet on the rumor mill lately, although a decision from Masahiro Tanaka later this week could get things going again. And while spring training is a few weeks away, there are still things to talk about from around the Royals universe. Here’s a look at a few stories from the past several days.

– At Grading on the Curve, Jay Blue recapped all of the Royals players and prospects who played in a  winter league somewhere. Some of the more successful players were Mike Moustakas, Gorkys Hernandez, Ramon Hernandez, Paulo Orlando, and Spencer Patton.

– Scout.com released their top 100 minor league prospects rankings, and the Royals have seven of their prospects on the list. Kyle Zimmer is the highest-ranked Royals farmhand (11), followed by Yordano Ventura (23), Raul Mondesi (26), Miguel Almonte (48), Hunter Dozier (68), Sean Manaea (90), and Jorge Bonifacio (92).

FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi discussed the newly adopted instant replay rules that were approved last week. The system isn’t perfect, and there could be some hiccups in the early stages of implementation, but I love that MLB is finally using the available technology to get calls right. Plus, having a central command center in charge of replays is a much better system than having officials run off the field of play every other down inning.

Dick Kaegel at MLB.com wrote about Brad Penny‘s comeback attempt and why the veteran feels the Royals are in a great spot to contend. Penny’s wife, Kaci, is a big Royals fan from Hays, KS, and her family had been telling Penny to talk to the team about a contract. His quotes suggest to me that if Penny doesn’t break camp with the big league team, he plans on exercising his opt-out clause.

– From KC Kingdom, Adam Cheshier suggests that Emilio Bonifacio will see a reduced role in 2014, but he still could have an impact off the bench as a super utility player. While his $3.5 million salary is far from ideal, Bonifacio’s versatility could be quite valuable in case injuries or ineffectiveness force him into a more prominent role.

– Over at FanSided, Bryan Rose talked about a report from Ken Rosenthal that the Royals were interested in veteran reliever Ryan Madson. Madson, who hasn’t pitched since 2011 due to injuries, has struck out 7.8 batters per 9 innings in his career, although his last 3 seasons were much better, as he struck out over a batter per inning in each year. It seems unlikely to me that the Royals would really pursue the 33 year old righty, since they’ve got plenty of bullpen depth as it is, and they’ve already signed one veteran reliever to a minor league deal.

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