Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
The Royals made the Edinson Volquez signing official on Monday afternoon, and to make room for him on the roster, Ryan Jackson was designated for assignment. I know I’ll always cherish the memories of the Ryan Jackson era. Won’t you? Now, the Royals have just three major league middle infielders on the 40-man roster, with Orlando Calixte still at least a year away. I’m guessing they will be adding someone else in the next couple of months, even if it’s just someone on a minor league deal. Nick Punto is available, in case you were wondering. Here are some links to Royals things.
– Pine Tar Press’ David Lesky says the Royals should keep their bullpen Cerberus together for 2015. Since the team is looking to contend, and since the offense may once again struggle to score runs at times, it may be beneficial to keep Greg Holland, Wade Davis, and Kelvin Herrera for one more year. Lesky suggests that having such a lockdown bullpen could help cover some of the team’s other flaws.
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– At Royals Review, Kevin Ruprecht took a look at Mike Moustakas‘ production in 2014. Once again, the third baseman was disappointing with the bat, but the author dug deeper into Moose’s numbers to see his swing and batted ball tendencies. While he walked more and struck out less, there still wasn’t much evidence of improvement on the field, with the exception of a very small sample of results in the playoffs.
– Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that the Royals had a deal in place to acquire Alex Rios this past July, but Rios invoked his no-trade clause when the Royals wouldn’t agree to pick up his $13.5 million option for 2015. At first glance it may seem odd that he would turn down the chance to join a playoff contender, especially considering that was why he chose to sign with Kansas City (along with 11 million other reasons, probably). But remember that the Royals were far from a playoff lock at that time, so Rios vetoing the deal made a bit more sense. With the way Nori Aoki played in the 2nd half, I’d say it worked out just fine for the Royals, too.
– At Sports on Earth, A.J. Cassavell wrote about the top 10 game-changing moments from the 2014, using a combination of win probability added (WPA), and some context of the rest of the season. Two plays from Royals made the list: Johnny Giavotella‘s three-run dinger against the Mariners in May checked in at 10, and Alex Gordon‘s walkoff blast against the Twins in late August was ranked as the top game-changing play of the season.
– Jay Jaffe wrapped up his look at the Hall of Fame ballot for Sports Illustrated by presenting the 10 names he’d place a checkmark next to, if he had a ballot. Jaffe does a tremendous job breaking down every single candidate’s case to be inducted, and many voters cite his research when explaining their ballots. If you have the time, take a look at all of the posts he has written for this year’s potential honorees. The results will be revealed in about a week, and hopefully we’ll see several more names enshrined in Cooperstown soon.