Jimmy Gobble Rumors

Royals To Stand Pat

Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star doesn’t expect the Royals to move anyone before the deadline because all of their pieces are under contract beyond this season and/or integral to their plan to contend in the future.

The Royals 2-prospect pricetag is too steep for Jose Guillen who’s signed through 2010 and leads the team in HR and RBI.  Gil Meche has a no-trade clause and even so, the Royals feel he’s a key piece to their future chances.  Even though the team isn’t discussing any long term deals with him, Zack Greinke is under control through arbitration through 2010 and the Royals are in no rush there.  David Dejesus‘ contract, at $14.3MM for the next 3 years, is too good to trade away.  And Ron Mahay is under contract through next year and filling a void left by Jimmy Gobble who continues to get worse.

Mark Grudzielanek remains the only name the Royals could deal, but there doesn’t seem to be much demand.  Writes Dutton,

"’It will probably have to be a need-based thing for somebody,’ a club official said. ‘Somebody loses a second baseman and really needs to go get one. Otherwise, I don’t see it happening.’"

Strong Interest In Ron Mahay

Royals lefty Ron Mahay is having a great year, with a 2.13 ERA in 42.3 innings.  His strikeout rate is down from ’07, but so is his walk rate.  He’s signed affordably through ’09.  The Royals beat out several teams to sign Mahay last winter, including the Yankees and Rays.  Both teams are known to be hunting for relief help currently.

The KC Star’s Bob Dutton says nobody has called Dayton Moore with a firm offer for Mahay.  Dutton believes interest is strong, but Moore’s comments imply the Royals intend to keep him.  A lesser alternative might be Jimmy Gobble, but only if the Royals want to sell low on him.

Stark’s Latest: Griffey, Daniel Cabrera, Lidge

ESPN’s Jayson Stark has a new column up; it’s a must-read.

  • Stark examines the impact of ten deals made last offseason; check it out.
  • Because of last year’s surprise playoff clubs, teams may wait extra long this year before throwing in the towel and trading veterans.
  • As Peter Gammons has noted, Ken Griffey Jr.‘s 2009 option will be an impediment in dealing him.  Even if the Reds find a suitor Griffey will probably want that $16.5MM guaranteed for ’09.
  • Daniel Cabrera will be available again this summer.  The Orioles should trade him as soon as possible; the .213 BABIP and 1.62 K/BB ratio indicate that his 3.54 ERA is a fluke.
  • The Royals will have pitching to spare this summer, with guys like Ron Mahay, Jimmy Gobble, and Brett Tomko on the block.  Might make sense to shop Gil Meche, too.
  • The Phillies may want to explore an extension with impending free agent Brad Lidge before season’s end.  Three years might be their max, though.  The extension subject has not yet been broached with Pat Burrell.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Mahay, Cordero

Ken Rosenthal busts out a few new ones.

  • The Royals have been in touch with Ron Mahay‘s agent.  Rosenthal names the Yankees, Giants, and Astros as other interested parties.  Why the Giants?  The Royals would trade Jimmy Gobble and then sign Mahay.  Regarding the Yankees, Rosenthal says that the Santana situation somehow affects their willingness to sign Mahay.  Meanwhile, Jayson Stark says the Rays are also in on Mahay.
  • The Nationals asked for Chad Qualls and Luke Scott for Chad Cordero and were rebuffed by Ed Wade and the Astros.  It’s not the craziest offer but how many outfielders do the Nationals need?  12?  We heard two hours ago that Scott was almost a Padre, but haven’t had any follow-up.  Buster?

Royals Possess Coveted Relievers

There’s seemingly some sentiment that the Royals don’t want to break up their bullpen by trading anyone.  I think that’s kind of silly, given the volatility of relievers and the Royals’ chances at contending in 2008. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star names four relievers on which Dayton Moore is getting phone calls:

Octavio Dotel – Dotel was a $5MM gamble, and he’s been decent so far.  He can earn another few hundred thousand in incentives and also has a $5.5MM player option for ’08.  If he exercises that, the team can still void it.  After a late start he’s got eight saves, a 3.50 ERA, and an 11.0 K/9.  However, he’s hit a bit of a rough stretch recently. I don’t see him fetching much in the way of compensatory draft picks if he changes teams via free agency this winter, so trading him is a good idea.  The Indians and Rockies have interest, and don’t forget that the Red Sox made him an offer in December. 

David Riske – The Royals also tossed $2.25MM at Riske for ’07 and added a $2.85MM club option for ’08.  Riske has his strikeout rate up somewhat but his 2.21 ERA doesn’t match up with the amount of baserunners allowed.  If I was running the team I’d trade both he and Dotel and pat myself on the back for signing them in the first place.  However I’m guessing the Royals will want to keep one of these guys.

Jimmy Gobble – Gobble is more than just a hilarious name; he owns a nifty 2.70 ERA.  He’s walking a tightrope though, allowing 1.67 baserunners per inning.  He’d make a decent lefty specialist and there’s no reason the Royals need to be paying him a million bucks next year.  Gobble is quite far from free agency but will get a raise in arbitration. 

Zack Greinke – Despite a 3.57 ERA and 9.9 K/9 in relief, you get the feeling Greinke will end up a successful starter one day.  He’s easily the most coveted of the four mentioned here, as he’s 23 and quite talented.  The Royals may try him as their closer this year if they hang on to him; he’s got the stuff for it.  Greinke seems past last year’s anxiety issues thankfully.  I’m not sure what the Royals could get in return for him that would be better than just keeping and developing him.

The Royals just added to their pen actually, picking up righty Roman Colon from Detroit for a player to be named later.  Despite a clubhouse scuffle that earned him a felonious assault charge, Moore said today that he’d trust Colon in his house with his family.  He goes way back with Colon as both worked for the Braves.