Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
While the Royals have yet to make any significant moves, the MLB Hot Stove season is officially underway, which means there are rumors flying everywhere. I feel obligated to remind you, then, to not get too carried away when you hear that Team X is interested in Awesome Free Agent Y. Of course there’s going to be interest from Team X, because Awesome Free Agent is awesome, and there are 29 other teams who would also love to acquire Awesome Free Agent’s services. That’s how this whole thing works. Just be sure to take rumors with a large block of salt, and be wary of unconfirmed reports from untrustworthy sources. They let anyone write stuff on the internet these days. Take this article for example. Anyway, let’s get to some links.
– Craig Brown of Royals Authority has an excellent write-up on Ned Yost, and why he is deserving of the contract extension he’s going to receive at some point this winter. Tactically, Yost isn’t all that different from any other manager, although the main differences in strategy stem from differences in the composition of the roster. Plus, his management style in the clubhouse seemed to have an incredibly positive impact on the players throughout the season.
– The Royals released their 2015 Spring Training schedule, which means the countdown to pitchers and catchers reporting is now underway. That date is February 19, with the full squad reporting 5 days later. The team’s first Spring Training game is March 4, and they wrap things up with a couple of games in Houston against the Astros on April 3 and 4.
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– Over at Pine Tar Press, David Lesky wrote about a few options the Royals could turn to for their backup catcher spot, if they’re not comfortable with Erik Kratz or Francisco Pena. Based upon Yost’s insistence of playing Salvador Perez every single day down the stretch, I’m guessing the Royals are not comfortable with those internal options. Perez definitely needs more time off next season, and hopefully that extra rest will pay dividends at the plate in 2015, as well as for the rest of his time in Kansas City.
– MLB Trade Rumors is circulating through this year’s crop of free agents, and Steve Adams just completed Billy Butler‘s profile. The author suggests teams may look at 2014 as an aberration because of Butler’s lengthy track record, and he predicts Butler will get a 3-year, $30 million contract because of that. Personally, I think that may be a bit high, but it wouldn’t be the most surprising thing to see Butler bounce back to his career norms next year. With a lack of impact hitters on the market, he may get a slight boost in value.
– At The Hardball Times, John Paschal wrote about a couple of his experiences as a Rangers fan, and how they reflect a larger picture of a sports fan in general. We love to root against rivals almost as much as we love to root for our favorite team. We love schadenfreude and we love cheering on a good story. Even though this post doesn’t have a real Royals connection, it’s something I think we can all relate to as we enjoy watching baseball every year.