Spring training is here, which means we have actual baseball news to talk about. Well, technically they’re still just throwing bullpen sessions and playing catch, but at least we’ve gotten to see baseball players on a baseball field. It’s a welcome sight as I look out my front door to see even more snow on the ground. Spring can’t get here quickly enough. Let’s get to some links from the last few days.
- At Pine Tar Press, Clint Scoles ranked the starting pitching prospects in the Royals’ system. Outside of the usual suspects, there are some names you may not recognize at the bottom of the list, and they could be same names to pay attention to in the next couple of years.
- FOX Sports Kansas City’s Jeffrey Flanagan talked with Wade Davis about the competition for the fifth starter spot, and even though he has long odds of rejoining the rotation, Davis still thinks he can be a solid starting pitcher. While I do think Davis would be better than he was last year, and while I like his confidence, he’s simply not the best candidate for that spot.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star suggests that while Dayton Moore’s claim of the team being over a “break-even” point may be true, the organization can still do more. Mellinger also says the 2014 season will be critical to Moore’s reputation, and ultimately, his career.
- The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo ranked all 30 big league managers, using input from executives, coaches, scouts, players, and other baseball people, and the Royals’ Ned Yost checked in at 14th on the list. Personally, I think that almost all managers are completely interchangeable, so I don’t have much of a problem with that ranking. There are a few other guys ranked a little higher on the list than I would have them, but it is interesting to see how people within the game view each team’s skipper.
- On Fangraphs, Wendy Thurm outlined the recent lawsuits filed against MLB and several teams regarding alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The plaintiffs include one former Royals’ minor leaguer, Michael Liberto, and they argue that their meager earnings are far below the federal minimum wage, and that the long hours and year-round dedication required by their employers should’ve resulted in higher pay. It’s a very interesting case, and it could have far-reaching effects for the entire league.
- This last one doesn’t directly relate to the Royals, but I think every team around baseball will be keeping an eye on Mike Trout‘s upcoming contract negotiations with the Angels. Dave Cameron of Fangraphs broke down what an extension may look like if the Angels offered him one this year. Cameron says that while a 10 year, $300 million contract may sound crazy, it would probably be appropriate for a player who’s been the best player in baseball in his first two years in the league, and his price could be even higher if he reaches free agency.