Welcome to another edition of the Royals Mailbag! We had received a lot of questions about Ervin Santana in the wake of the Matt Garza almost signing, which we handled in a separate article yesterday. As always, 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 comes from Hemroid, who asked “Are any of the Royals besides Moose in winter ball?”
Mike Moustakas certainly received a lot of attention, given his struggles last season and how he was there to work on his swing. Yet, Moustakas was not the only starters for the Royals to appear in the Winter Leagues. Salvador Perez and super utility man Emilio Bonifacio also headlined the Royals who played in Winter ball this offseason. For a full breakdown of the Royals who participated in the Winter Leagues, Jay Blue had an excellent writeup for Grading on the Curve, which you can read here.
Chad Woelk asked a question about David Glass and his willingness to spend on payroll, or his unwillingness, as it were. “If Glass is worth over 1.3 Billion dollars, why is he not willing to have a payroll even at around 115-130 million so we can keep players like Santana and Shields (next year). Lets not forget that players such as Holland, Gordon, Butler, and Hosmer will all be free agents in the near future and penny pinching will not allow us to pay these players with the way contracts are going now. If the trend of contracts are skyrocketing, then all teams are going to have to adjust and pay the players more money. But in turn won’t the overall value of the teams increase as well so it evens out anyways. Yes Glass has been opening his wallet somewhat but when your fans are starving for a winning franchise more should be done don’t you think? Ewing Kauffman was a billionaire in pharmaceuticals sales and spent the money necessary in order to keep his good players together because he loved Royals baseball. What is wrong with Mr. Glass?”
That is the question that Royals fans have been asking seemingly since David Glass purchased the team. For years, he seemed to treat the Royals as though he could win with the same strategy that Wal-Mart has been able to succeed with in the corporate world, with inexpensive players and getting rid of those players once they start to become expensive. It may have taken much longer than we all wanted it to, but it appears as though Glass has realized that such a strategy does not work if you want to have a successful team on the field.
It may also have been that Glass simply did not care about the on-field product, so long as the Royals made money. Unfortunately, there are several owners like that in baseball, headlined by Jeffrey Loria of the Marlins. Yet, such a strategy is counter productive. Having a franchise that is consistently contending for a playoff berth, if not perennially in the playoffs, will increase the bottom line and the overall value of the ballclub. Perhaps Glass is now finally realizing that.
The biggest test will come in the following years. Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and Alex Gordon are coming up on free agency soon. If Glass is willing to spend the money to resign at least two of those players, while continuing to let Dayton Moore supplement the roster through free agency and sign players to long term extensions, then perhaps the signings of the past two years truly show a change of priorities when it comes to the Royals.
David Glass is a businessman first, and baseball is probably a lot further down the list. We can just hope that his love of his bank account will not get in the way of making the Royals a better ballclub.
Finally, Michael Brasington sent us a question via Twitter, asking about the Royals FanFest. “Do you have a list of players and former players that will be at FanFest?”
There are a total of fifty current and former Royals attending FanFest, although some of those players will be there for only one of the two days. George Brett will be there only for the Royals Awards ceremony. Hosmer, Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez headline the current Royals, while Jeff Montgomery and Willie Aikens are the headlines of the former Royals. A complete list of those players attending FanFest, as well as what days they will be available, is here.
Thank you for the questions. If there is anything that you want us to cover in a future mailbag, feel free to let us know in the comments, on FaceBook or via Twitter.