When Dayton Moore took over the Kansas City Royals, his first objective was to rebuild the minor league system. As a small market team, the Royals needed to be able to develop talent within the organization, as they were highly unlikely to outbid other teams for top free agent talent. David Glass was more interested in turning a profit than in spending the money to put a quality product on the field, pinching pennies to the point where Honest Abe begged for mercy.
That overhaul has, for the most part, come to fruition. The Royals farm system has consistently ranked amongst the best in baseball over the past few years, and the Royals have seen some of that success translate to the major leagues. Greg Holland, Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez have all become key contributors to the Royals, and the duo of Kyle Zimmer and Yordano Ventura are expected to lead the rotation through the next half of the decade.
There are also certain advantages to building a young team. The players are under control for six years, seven if the arbitration clock can be managed just right. For the first few seasons, those players cost approximately the major league minimum, giving a team the chance to save some money while getting far more than their money’s worth. However, it is one thing to keep cycling through young players – it is quite another to find those players that are expected to be key contributors to a winning franchise over the long term.
That second part is where Dayton Moore and the Royals are beginning to find themselves. Perez has already been locked up to an extension, but other key components to the team are becoming arbitration eligible. While Hosmer and the Royals came to an agreement, the same cannot be said for Greg Holland. In fact, he is on pace to become the first Royals player to go to arbitration since Moore took over.
Perhaps that is because Holland’s agents and Moore are working towards something else. Moore has stated that he would be open to signing Holland to a long term extension, and while Holland did not sound nearly as enthusiastic, he did admit that he would be open to such a deal.
“Would everyone in that room like to be here for a long time for their whole career? Yeah,” Holland said. “Is that going to happen? Probably not.”