Moore Discusses Meche’s Retirement

The Royals caught a $12MM break yesterday and Dayton Moore has never seen anything like it. The Kansas City GM says he didn't expect Gil Meche to retire, since the right-hander had the option of collecting checks all season long. Instead, he forfeited the money, called it a career and provded his former team with unexpected financial flexibility.

“Gil had every right to finish off the final year of this contract and be compensated and he chose not to,” Moore said yesterday on a conference call with reporters.

The five-year, $55MM deal that Meche signed before the 2007 season looked good for the first two years and awful for the next two. Meche logged over 200 innings in 2007 and '08, posting a 3.82 ERA and leading the league in starts both seasons. But shoulder and back injuries limited his effectiveness and availability in 2009-10. At 32, the ten-year veteran is calling it a career.

Moore says he doesn't consider the signing a mistake, since Meche took the ball when healthy and helped ease Zack Greinke into major league stardom. But the caretaker of the best farm system in baseball isn't about to compromise his prospects' development with more long-term free agent deals.

“We’re not going to do anything with long-term contracts that’s going to restrict their transition to the major leagues,” Moore said.

There will come a time when the Royals look to complement their homegrown core with free agent pieces, Moore said. The team does have $12MM more than expected, but Moore says he doesn't plan to add any expensive pieces soon.

64 Responses to Moore Discusses Meche’s Retirement Leave a Reply

  1. sigfraud 5 years ago

    Meche can forget about that job with the mlbpa. At least negotiate a buyout, sheesh.

    • Interesting point, but I wonder if the MLBPA would actually be upset by this. I can imagine his agent might be furious if it costs him money, but does it actually hurt the rest of the players in any way?

      I know they hate it when a player takes less money because it lowers the market value for everyone else, but this doesn’t really do that. His retirement isn’t going to encourage teams to pay free agents less in the future. If anything, it frees up a few more dollars that could theoretically go to those free agents (except the Royals aren’t going to spend it).

      • andrewyf 5 years ago

        Does the agent get a percentage per year, or is it simply a percetage fee based on the total net worth of the contract? I would imagine agents would protect themselves against this kind of thing and make their clients pay based on the contract that they signed.

        What would happen if a player gets suspended and his contract annulled (or something like that, this is completely hypothetical)? Should the agent suffer for that? He’s not responsible for the actions of the player.

      • Agents are often paid upfront and I believe that’s what Moore suggested in one of his interviews after Meche’s retirement.

        Meche has also made more than enough money over the length of his career to not care less about working with the MLBPA or any other organization/company again.

  2. andrewyf 5 years ago

    Meche should change his name to Menche.

  3. Coreno 5 years ago

    “The five-year, $55MM deal that Meche signed before the 2011 season”?

    you mean before 2007, i presume?

    • Lunchbox45 5 years ago

      technically 2007 is before the 2011 season too.

  4. The_Silver_Stacker 5 years ago

    It sucks that inuries caught up with him, but now he can do whatever the hell he wants to now that I am jealous

  5. Of course they won’t spend the 12M to help field a major league team. It will instead go straight into Mr Glass’ pocket.

    • Lunchbox45 5 years ago

      or in to the draft.. you can knock the on field product, but if you cut their farm teams in half, its still better than 50% of other teams

      • jhawk90 5 years ago

        …which is all well and good, but again it’s playing “someday, maybe” all over again. I’ve been making weekend trips to KC for almost 15 years now, it’s come full circle back to an away team’s ballpark. Why would anyone keep putting up with this?

        At least extend Butler, Soria…something.

        • bbxxj 5 years ago

          Soria is already extended but I do agree with you on Butler. They need to get him extended and get some stability in their everyday lineup with a homegrown player.

        • ugen64 5 years ago

          yeah, but what’s the alternative? so many teams try to throw money at second-tier free agents and make unwise trades when they really should be rebuilding – just over the past decade or so, look at the Orioles before MacPhail, Cubs, Mets, Mariners under Bavasi… are any of these teams better, right now, than the Royals? if so, it’s not by much. and they definitely don’t have as good a farm system as the Royals either… as an Orioles fan, it does really suck to go through losing season after losing season, but Moore’s strategy is the right one (even if a lot of his individual moves are rightly criticized).

          as for extending Butler, I can understand why they’re holding off on it. he’s still under club control for 3 more years. in a similar situation, the Orioles extended Nick Markakis for 6 years / $66.1 million after a career year. it’s not the worst contract in the world, but they didn’t exactly get a bargain either. also, if there’s any position where the Royals are especially strong in the minors, it’s corner infielders. Moustakas and Hosmer are two of the 10 best prospects in all of baseball, and if Myers ends up having to move off catcher, his bat can definitely play at 1st. Royals fans always point to Gordon and Hochevar as examples of the danger of relying on prospects. but you can also point to Greinke and Butler as two prospects who did work out. and Gordon is basically the absolute worst case scenario. when a top prospect flames out, he usually turns into a B.J. Upton or (if he doesn’t get any better) a Matt Wieters – still a quality, 2-3 WAR player. and Gordon was on his way to being a 2-3 WAR player before his injuries.

    • bbxxj 5 years ago

      I believe they said they will funnel it into their draft and scouting budget – which is the exact right thing to do. Maybe they should/will sign a injury risk starter looking for a rotation spot somewhere like Duchscherer, Sheets or Maine but really there is nobody else out there that makes sense to sign. Twelve million can go a long way in the international free agent market and in the draft. They could realistically draft the best prospect available regardless of bonus demands through the first 4-5 rounds and then some late round overslots and then a couple top 5-10 international free agents without even dipping into their budget for such things.

      • I guess we will just have to wait and see if they spend 12M more than other years or not. I’m guessing they spend about half of it and pocket the rest.

        • We’ll never know if / where they spend it. Clubs can sink big bucks into areas like player development and you’ll never know it.

        • Jesse 5 years ago

          They should just send the money to the Angels for Scott Kazmir

          • vtadave 5 years ago

            …or they could just flush it down the toilet. Same outcome.

    • daveineg 5 years ago

      Glass owns the team. It’s already in his pocket. Personally I’m more offended by the guy who can’t play collecting the money than I am someone who already has it choosing to spend it as he wishes.

      • I believe the Forbes suggested the Royals run at about a 4% profit after reinvestment into the team. The “Glass is milking the team” line does not bear out with the statistics.

    • There is no one of value left to spend it on. Manny Ramirez? Vlad Guerrero? Johnny Damon? The Royals are set at DH with Butler.

    • I’m hoping this means the Royals will draft a ton of overslot guys and perhaps invest in 2-3 of the brighter Dominican children. OR, perhaps Dayton Moore is going to pocket this as a downpayment for Yu Darvish’s services. BWAHAhaahhaha! Trust the process!!!!!

  6. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    Moore says he doesn’t consider the signing a mistake

    Of course he wouldn’t. I can’t imagine any GM that would openly say “yeah, he pitched like junk for us the last couple of seasons and was hurt all the time, so we’re relieved we can save that $12mil.”

    Shame though, he even managed a 5 WAR season with an ERA of 4. Don’t think I’ve seen that too often.

    • While not a GM, owner Tom Hicks admitted the A-Rod signing was a mistake.

      • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

        While this is true, I excluded it since, well, not every owner pays a baseball player $275mil over 10 years :p

    • The Meche signing was not a mistake. Trey Hillman riding an injured Meche like a rented mule was a mistake.

  7. The payroll this year for the Royals will likely be around 40 million. To keep the union happy, they are going to have to spend some serious dollars in the draft (not a problem for the Royals as of late) and be very active on the international market. Bob Dutton of the KC Star has already insinuated this will be the case. With the Rays likely to target a lot of slot guys, opportunities for the Royals to buy out HS guys will exist.

  8. Revive85 5 years ago

    I’m excited for KC’s haul in the upcoming draft. I wish we had 300 picks in the first round like Tampa.

    • Too bad you generally need talented players to get Type A free agents. But the farm system is stacked for you guys.

  9. ellisburks 5 years ago

    He’s 32 years old. Made $55 mil in his relatively short career. And now has retired. I think he can live without the other $12. Good for him.

    • Lunchbox45 5 years ago

      The 12 million he left needs to be subtracted from the 55 mil contract, obviously

      • ellisburks 5 years ago

        I have no doubt but I meant the money he has already made according to baseball reference. I wasn’t talking about his last contract. It was only $51 mil but I was going by memory of when I looked at it yesterday. Sorry about the confusion.

        • $1529282 5 years ago

          Plus a $2M signing bonus on this deal that he already got (Cot’s), plus his draft signing bonus (first round pick)… $55M is probably a good bet, when adding those two components to BR’s salary tracker.

  10. trustingtheGMDMprocess 5 years ago

    hopefully this means that if he’s still on the board, the royals will go for Bubba Starling in the draft. everyone has said that his potential high cost might limit his signability, but if meche’s $12mil is going into draft and international scouting budgets, maybe that means we won’t let another home-grown potential superstar get away this time (see Albert Pujols)

    • I like Starling, but they should absolutely NOT take him in the first round. Not with the fifth overall pick. There are at least five guys I would take over him. Now, if he’s still on the board when they come up in the second round I’d be all over it.

      • Bubba Starling is the Baseball America HS player of the year. How is he then not worth AT LEAST a top 10 pick, if not the #5 overall pick? If Starling gets drafted right after the Royals and a potential hometown star (see Jones, Chipper and Mauer, Joe) goes elsewhere, THERE WILL BE HELL TO PAY!

  11. coolstorybro222 5 years ago

    I respect the dude. any other player would’ve screwed their team over by taking the money, but he respects the organization enough to provide them with more flexibility

    • East Coast Bias 5 years ago

      How is HE screwing the team over by honoring his contract that BOTH sides signed? Didn’t the team screw themselves over by offering such a contract? I’m tired of people taking this silly approach.

      • TimotheusATL 5 years ago

        This is MLBTR’s comments section. People who make more than the major league minimum not named Albert Pujols or Cliff Lee are generally reviled for doing so. Enjoy your stay.

  12. commercecomet 5 years ago

    Personally, I have to admire Meche. It is honorable to walk away from the money when he can’t hold up his end of the bargain.

  13. I remember when he signed with the Royals that the Jays were trying to sign him too. Then Jays GM (at the time) JP Riccardi blasted him saying it showed a lot about him as a person wanting to go to the Royals rather than wanting to comete in the AL East. I think the picture about who he is is a bit clearer. (Not to mention JP who’s no longer a GM)

    • Lunchbox45 5 years ago

      So you’re saying that by leaving the 12 million on the table and retiring, he has addressed the criticisms of him not being competitive and a bit of a coward?

    • JP Ricciardi is an a**. He followed that up with some ludicrous comments about Adam Dunn as well. Open mouth, insert foot.

  14. yankeeaddiction 5 years ago

    Its a classy move on Meche’s part but lets not get carried away- its easy to make such a move when your contract has already paid you 43 million plus probably another 5-10 million the years before you signed it. Remember guys at AAA get a salary that is larger than most Americans average salary. Who knows he does not have to tell us but Meche could have a whiz financial advisor and he could have invested very well to where the 50 million he made is now 400 million.

    I think its a smart move for the Royals to not spend now- I agree on extending Butler- the Royals supposedly have two very high level prospects that will bump himin the next year or two but if he is signed to a long term affordable deal that will increase his trade value dramatically. I really like the return they got from Oakland on Dejesus who was in a similar position and because they did this with Soria they can ask for and get a kings ransom in a trade for him.

    With all their young talent and prospects the Royals will need to sprinkle in some veterans to help them progree. Right now they have signed both Jeff Francis and Bruce Chen for 2011. Francis is supposed to be healthy and if he bounces back and has a good year this money can be used to keep him as a stable veteran arm in the rotation. Same thing with Chen- this journeyman won 12 games last year for a bad Royals team- if he suddenly has put it all together and has the same type of year it is wise to resign a guy like him who is another solid veteran putting up decent numbers.

    This is a classy organization with a great history with guys like George Brett- one player who when the image of athletes started to change in the 1980’s and 90’s remained the same, Frank White and Hal McRae. It would be nice to see them strong again.

    • daveineg 5 years ago

      I actually think you shouldn’t minimize praise for Meche. Hopefully the positive feedback he receives starts a trend. Having to pay enormous sums to players that can no longer perform at the major league level is bad for baseball. Jeff Suppan was washed up in 2010 (actually even earlier than that). While he may not have been hurt, he couldn’t not perform to what most consider minimal major league levels. Yet he stuck it to the Brewers for another $12.5 million including a buyout instead of retiring. We see this all the time. What Meche did was refreshing and needs to be praised.

      • Lunchbox45 5 years ago

        Hopefully the positive feedback he receives starts a trend.

        lets not get carried away here dave

      • briantalletsmoustache 5 years ago

        I’d actually be way more impressed with Meche if he said he was collecting the paycheques still and then donating it to any number of worthy causes.

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      It’s “easy” to walk away from $12M? I don’t care if you’ve made $55M (which is about Meche’s number), $12M is a LOT of money. In no way should that decision be downplayed. It’s a stand-up move and a recognition that the game and the team he played for are bigger than him. It shows a sense of ownership and accountability, and the attitude of “If I can’t finish what I’ve started, I shouldn’t be rewarded for it” shows the pride and standard of quality that he holds for himself and his talent ranks over personal gain. That’s a rare, and honorable mentality.

      Good for Meche, what a classy move. Best of luck after baseball, Gil.

  15. dc21892 5 years ago

    I think what Meche is doing is great. He’s tried and tried repeatedly to come back from shoulder injuries and just can’t take it anymore. He is choosing to retire rather than be injured all year and earn his 12M. Some will say it’s stupid and foolish. Others would say he’s doing the right thing for himself and the Royals organizaton. IMO, he’s doing the right thing. The Royals can put that money toward the draft.

  16. Stay classy Kyle Lohse…..please do the same!

  17. Red_Line_9 5 years ago

    It would have been nice to have had that $12M earlier in the offseason.

  18. East Coast Bias 5 years ago

    Dudes, seriously, the Royals farm is straight ridiculous! I know they’re all prospects and thus not guaranteed successes, but they have a top 10 player in every position!! I wonder if they will be the next Tampa Bay Rays… unless the Rays are the next Rays with all these upcoming draft picks.

  19. Congratulations to Gil Meche, he took the road that many of us would not take. His family and all the rest of us should be proud of him. I am impressed!

  20. Red_Line_9 5 years ago

    He could have taken the $12M and given it to a worthy charitable cause.

    • I rarely find myself nodding in agreement with one of Kevin Kietzman’s acrimonious opening dialogs, but today was a different story. I initially thought that what Gil had done was in line with James J. Braddock repaying his welfare check, but after some persuasion by Kietzman I am leaning toward his line of reasoning. The money isn’t going to go anywhere other than the pockets of the Glass family. If Meche wanted to do something honorable he would have taken the 12.4 and donated it to local KC charities, I am sure the RBI program or BBBS could use a little extra cash.

  21. ugen64 5 years ago

    yeah. I think he was actually a good signing – Hillman ruined his arm. I remember one specific game where he left Meche out there for like 140 pitches, when his control was clearly off and he wasn’t even pitching that well.

  22. true81 5 years ago

    he threw i believe 137 for a shut out with hillman, after that guys he was never the same and his shoulder started hurting. meche says that game didnt do it but consider pregame warm ups then warming up before innings and he threw probably around 250 that day. that was the end

  23. twenty1thirteen 5 years ago

    Meche came straight out and said that this game or Hillman had nothing to do with his shoulder woes. Hell of a coincidence if it’s true though. Also, I’m never against placing any blame on the train wreck that was Trey.

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