Winter Meetings Day 2 Wrap Up: Royals Still Lurking and Someone’s Interested in Jeff Francoeur


Day two of the Winter Meetings wrapped up with still little movement overall. A few players signed deals but the marquee names are still out there, and the pitching market has basically shut down while Zack Greinke decides where he’ll sign.

The Royals got their fair share of mentions, though. Most of the day followed the ongoing R.A. Dickey saga, in which the Mets were trying the two-front approach of either signing him to an extension through 2015 or trading him as part of their rebuild. They don’t seem close to either, but the Royals seemed to be frontrunners for him in a deal if they gave up on the extension side of things.

Wil Myers – looking to the future. Photo: Minda Haas

What’s prevented any action, though, is the Mets insistence on Wil Myers as the return. It’s been said by many commenting on it that the Mets are well in their rights to ask for a lot for Dickey. He’s had three strong years in a row and was last year’s Cy Young Award winner. He’s not a supplemental piece. But the perception that follows him is that he’s a knuckleballer, and that brings a squeamish feeling to some. It’s not mainstream. Life gets a lot easier for baseball executives when a guy is 6’4″ and buzzes a fastball up there at 95 mph and throws a slider. It’s typical, it’s comfortable. It’s expected. That makes Dickey (seemingly) hard to project.

So gauging his value becomes difficult as well, and while his stats on their own probably warrant a good return, his age and unorthodox profile make him what some probably see as a risk.

For that reason, the Royals aren’t giving up Wil Myers for him. It’s not just a no, it’s a hell no:

That should start to give a hint to the Royals value of Myers. Perhaps they value James Shields and Jon Lester above Dickey, but if not, the deals that were rumored to be tossed around last week are probably far from happening. Danny Knobler reported that the Royals are more likely to deal Myers than Billy Butler or other current major leaguers.

If Dickey or those trade options don’t work out, the Royals are still supposedly in on Anibal Sanchez, and Jon Morosi said that he has “multiple” five-year offers. The trend is that his demands of six years and $90 million may not be what he signs for, but, again, the pitching market is waiting on Zack Greinke to sign. If he signs for a bigger deal than expected, it’ll bump up the other available pitchers.

A lot of today’s best tidbits came from a Bob Dutton chat on the Kansas City Star’s site:

  • The Royals seem reluctant to deal a “key element” of the lineup right now.
  • Dutton wouldn’t rule out a deal that might include an everyday second baseman, but most likely it’ll be either Chris Getz or Johnny Giavotella. Whichever doesn’t make it may not be on the opening day roster.
  • Dutton categorized the Royals chances of signing Sanchez as “very slim”.
  • If the Royals can’t work out a trade, the pitchers out there like Brett Myers and Francisco Liriano will become more attractive to them.
  • The Royals odds of signing Greinke? “How close can you get to zero without reaching zero?”
  • A question about Luke Hochevar led to a long response from Dutton that can be summed up as when Hochevar is good, he has #2 upside. He admitted, though, that when Hochevar is bad, he’s dreadful.
  • John Lamb and Kyle Zimmer are both potential fast-track pitchers this year who might – might – push for big league action late in 2013, but are more likely to be around in 2014.
  • And finally, the Orioles have indicated some interest in Jeff Francoeur, though there’s no indication that a deal has even been brought up. Any move would probably require the Royals eat some salary.

There were a couple of trades tonight among other teams and as more players sign, other teams will feel the need to be more aggressive, so tomorrow may be a busy day for the Royals. Or they could keep setting up deals for the post-meeting period.