The Royals have once again shuffled their coaching staff in hopes of sparking a dormant offense, reports Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter). Dale Sveum will take over for Pedro Grifol as the hitting coach, with Grifol becoming the catching instructor and Mike Jirschele taking over at third. Oddly, the news comes just one day shy of the anniversary of the club’s shake-up last year, in which Hall of Famer George Brett temporarily took over as the batting instructor. (For what it’s worth, the Royals had a 21-29 record when they tapped Brett — who held the role for about two months — and ended up finishing the year ten games over .500.)
Here’s more from the American League:
- Contrary to popular opinion, the Yankees have the prospect pieces necessary to pull off one or more significant trades, rival GMs tell ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden (Insider subscription required). Bowden says he expects the team to be most interested in adding rotation help, and lists a few hypothetical targets. On the other side of the ledger, says Bowden, New York can offer up young power arms like Dellin Betances and Adam Warren, though those players are obviously useful at the MLB level. Otherwise, potential trade pieces include catchers Gary Sanchez and Peter O’Brien, 20-year-old righty Luis Severino, and the team’s three first-round picks from last year’s draft.
- The Athletics have essentially done the opposite of the prevailing turnaround model of collecting and developing prospects, then selling them off when they get expensive, writes R.J. Anderson for FOX Sports. Since the end of 2012, Oakland GM Billy Beane has repeatedly swapped top prospects for useful, non-star big leaguers who generally did not come with extended team control. While that could lead to a talent deficit in future years, Anderson says that the club should be applauded for aggressively seeking to build a winner rather than waiting and hoping that its young talent pans out.