The Rockies should look at the Royals‘ model of success, opines Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Both teams are mid-market clubs so they share the same constraints. In today’s game, that often means they can’t compete for top or even mid-tier free agents. Royals GM Dayton Moore told Saunders “You have to continually make the transition with two or three impact players [from the farm system], every single year. That means a position player, a starter and a bullpen piece.” Additionally, bold trades like the swap of Troy Tulowitzki are necessary too. The Rockies received Jose Reyes, Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro, and Jesus Tinoco in the deal. While Reyes is the most recognizable name, the trade was all about the three pitching prospects. Colorado absolutely must solve their rotation woes if they want to field a consistently good club.
- The Royals success in the middle of the free agent market may be the trait rival teams attempt to replicate this offseason, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. We’ve already heard about numerous ways other clubs hope to emulate the Royals with athleticism, defense, and an elite bullpen as oft cited details. However, the club also brought in eight productive free agents for just $35.875MM. With a deep and talented free agent pool this offseason, we may see clubs eschew top targets like Jason Heyward in favor of multiple additions (Sherman lists Gerardo Parra, Darren O’Day, and Marco Estrada as an example).
- Kansas City did get lucky in one regard, per Sherman. Their top target for designated hitter was Torii Hunter. Had he signed with the Royals, they would not have pursued Kendrys Morales. Instead, the former Angel and Twin led the club with 22 home runs and 106 RBI.
- Sherman also notes that the Royals hope to re-sign Alex Gordon and Ben Zobrist. The club will not pursue Johnny Cueto.
- The U.S. government and Major League Baseball have been working on a new system for would-be Cuban defectors to reach America, writes Michael S. Schmidt and Julie Hirschfeld of the New York Times. Presently, Cuban players usually have to survive dangerous journeys in order to defect. Smugglers often take a large percentage the player’s initial contract as payment. While creating a transparent process for moving from the Serie Nacional to state-side professional baseball would solve a human rights issue, there are still barriers. Most notably, any payment to the Cuban government would violate the U.S. trade embargo with the island. Any typical compensation scheme would either directly or indirectly send money to the Cuban government.