Royals Links: Trading Greg Holland, Fielding Awards, Free Agents, & More
Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
The worst part about the baseball season being over until the spring is that there is no more baseball until the spring. Baseball is great, which of course means a lack of baseball is the opposite of great. However, in today’s era, the offseason tends to generate almost as much excitement around the baseball world as some weeks in the summer. With free agency, the Winter Meetings, trade rumors, and all of the other transactions that will be coming soon, there is no shortage of baseball-related discussion. Baseball-related discussion isn’t baseball, but it’s a step up from staring at piles of snow and weeping uncontrollably. Let’s get that discussion started right now, with some links to a few articles from around the web in recent days.
– Baseball Prospectus’ Matthew Trueblood wrote a must-read article on the prevalence of anonymous sources in baseball reporting, and how they can shape the public’s perception. This part of the year is always a fascinating one, with rumors flying everywhere, and fans losing their minds over the possibility of their favorite team allegedly being interested in Random Player X. With so many “sources” planting pieces of information all around the internet, it can be a challenge for fans to determine what is legitimate, and what is mere hearsay.
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– At FOX Sports’ Just a Bit Outside blog, C.J. Nitkowski argues that the Royals need to trade Greg Holland this winter. With Holland set to receive upwards of $8 million in arbitration, it may be difficult to justify pouring so much money into a one-inning reliever (Holland has 151 consecutive appearances pitching 1 inning or less), especially when the team has other closing options available. This will definitely be one of the more interesting decisions the Royals make this winter.
– Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain each won a Fielding Bible Award last week, and the voting ballots have been released to the public. Gordon was one of three unanimous selections – along with Andrelton Simmons and Jason Heyward – while Cain narrowly edged out Ben Zobrist in the “Multi-Position” category. The winners of the Gold Glove awards – for which Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez, Alcides Escobar, and Gordon are nominated – will be announced tonight on ESPN2, beginning at 6:00 pm.
– MLB Trade Rumors published their writers’ predictions for where the top 50 free agents would sign, and they have A.J. Burnett coming to Kansas City, after he declined his player option with the Phillies. Burnett may not get a lot of money, but he wants to pitch for a contender, so the Royals certainly qualify. Other Royals-related predictions include James Shields to the Red Sox, Billy Butler to the Mariners, and Nori Aoki to the Reds.
– On the FiveThirtyEight blog, Neil Paine uses a historical model to project how likely it is that the Royals will be able to duplicate their playoff success in the next five years. Based on the model, Paine puts those odds at around 30%, which is a bit below the average. That is, the odds don’t look great right now. Of course, the odds don’t always mean very much, but it’s something that is kind of interesting, regardless of the actual significance.
– August Fagerstrom of FanGraphs has a fun piece on the best of this season’s little league home runs, complete with hilarious gifs embedded throughout. Of course Mike Moustakas makes an appearance, thanks to the fine defensive work of the Indians’ Ryan Raburn. Beyond Moose, there are some really entertaining plays in that post. It’s a good thing to save and look at during the coldest months to come.