The KC Royals are apparently suffering from sticker shock due to the prices on outfielders at the ongoing baseball winter meetings.
After reportedly inquiring about the asking price on Yoenis Cespedes, and continuing to hope that they can bring back Alex Gordon, general manager Dayton Moore suddenly proclaimed on Tuesday that reserve outfielder Jarrod Dyson would get a shot at a starting job, according to Kansas City Star reporter Andy McCullough:
The most interesting piece of news in this sequence is the report by the NY Post’s Joel Sherman about the Kansas City Royals interest in Yoenis Cespedes. According to Sherman, the KC Royals were one of four teams who were the most aggressive in pursuing Cespedes, along with the Tigers, Angels, Giants, and Mets. However, Sherman’s sources indicated the Royals quickly realized that the bidding was pushing Cespedes beyond their comfort zone.
Perhaps the KC Royals inquired about Cespedes hoping that his late season struggles and poor showing in the 2015 World Series might have harmed his market value. Maybe Dayton Moore didn’t want to focus all of its efforts on Alex Gordon, just to show Gordon’s camp that they are willing to look for other solutions to KC’s outfield needs.
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No negotiator wants to look desperate, and losing both starting corner outfielders to free-agency can make rival GM’s—and player agents—put Dayton Moore in that category.
The need to kill the idea that the Kansas City Royals are crying for outfield help might also explain Moore’s proclamation that Jarrod Dyson would get a shot at starting this spring. Notice when Moore had the perfect opportunity to see what Dyson could do as a regular player after Alex Gordon’s groin injury, he quickly made a deals for Ben Zobrist and Jonny Gomes.
Another hot winter meetings rumor flying around Tuesday is that the Giants are “hot” to sign Alex Gordon, which might be coming Gordon’s camp to spur action. Perhaps all of this sound and fury of rumors about outfield solutions other than Alex Gordon to the Royals is the posturing you get as parties are about to make a deal.
Just how credible is it that the KC Royals are now ready to roll into 2016 by penciling Jarrod Dyson’s name into the lineup?
Fairly credible, if you ask me.
Of course, the key is to recognize that Moore said that Dyson would get a chance to start. That’s not handing Dyson the starting job. I see that as Moore believing that he can fill one outfield spot with internal candidates. That means an open spring competition between Dyson, Paulo Orlando, and AAA outfielders Brett Eibner and Jose Martinez. Heck, maybe Bubba Starling and Jorge Bonifacio could get into the picture with a hot spring.
With Kansas City Royals personnel men believing that former no. 5 overall draft pick Bubba Starling will be ready for a full-time outfield job in 2017, I can see them treading water with internal options to fill one outfield position until then.
However, I don’t see Moore being comfortable trying to plug TWO corner outfield vacancies with internal candidates. If Alex Gordon zooms out of KC’s price range, rumors indicate that Gerrado Parra is part of Moore’s plan B to solve one outfield spot.
If you believe “where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire”, then all the buzz suggests something will happen soon with respect to the KC Royals outfield situation. Stay tuned, Royals fans.