Yost continues recovery from fall
One notable absence from the Winter Meetings not named Derek Jeter is Royals skipper Ned Yost. The long-time manager continues to recover from a serious fall in early November on his Georgia property.
Despite making progress “every day,” according to Flanagan, Yost remains far from healed enough to make the trip down to Orlando. Flanagan even said it’s unlikely Yost will attend fan fest next month, but he could be healed up and ready to go when Spring Training begins in February.
Lopez honored for fall league display
In a bit of Royals news that has nothing to do with the Winter Meetings, minor league infielder Nicky Lopez capped a sensational Arizona Fall League campaign with a deserved spot on the all-prospect team. The Kansas City Royals announced the honor on their official Twitter account:
Since being drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, Lopez has been a shining light in an otherwise dark and gloomy farm system. The former Creighton Blue Jay dominated with Burlington in his debut season. This past summer he excelled with Wilmington before earning a promotion to Northwest Arkansas. Things didn’t go so well at the Double-A level for the 22-year-old, but Lopez seemed to get back on track in the AFL.
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The left-handed hitting shortstop slashed .383/.433/.568 for an OPS of 1.001 in 20 games. He didn’t showcase a ton of power with only nine of his 31 hits going for extra bases. However, Lopez succeeded at manufacturing runs, scoring 15 times and driving in 10. After recording an even 1:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio over the summer, Lopez struck out 14 times to seven walks in the AFL.
The hope is that his form carries over into next season. Lopez’s progression and the possibility of a rebuild mean Whit Merrifield could be a legitimate trade piece this winter.
Maybe it will even happen this week. Or maybe nothing of substance will occur. That’s the beauty of the Winter Meetings, though. Even when nothing concrete happens, the future ramifications from the discussions will reverberate through the remainder of the offseason.
What do you think, fans? Will the Kansas City Royals make any major trades this week? Will Hosmer or any of the other main free agents sign? Let us know your thoughts and predictions.