It will likely be "a relatively quiet offseason" for the Royals, writes Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Here are some of the hot stove-related notes from Dutton's recent look ahead to the Royals' 2011 season.
- The payroll is expected to be in "the low $60MM range" next season, down from K.C.'s 2010 payroll of just under $75MM. This whole drop could be attributed to Jose Guillen's $12MM salary coming off the books.
- Speaking of Guillen, Dutton reports that "the days of shelling out millions to retread veterans for stopgap purposes appear over."
- There have been some rumors about Zack Greinke being on the trade block, but Dutton thinks the K.C. ace won't be moved this winter since his trade value will be higher at next year's trade deadline and in the 2011-12 offseason.
- Bruce Chen wants to re-sign in Kansas City and there appears to be mutual interest from the Royals. The club may "have too many promising left-handed prospects to offer Chen more than a one-year deal," but it's hard to imagine another club giving Chen multiple years.
- Dutton predicts the Royals will either deal or non-tender Brian Bannister. The right-hander made $2.3MM in 2010 and is entering his third arbitration year.
- With Jason Kendall set to miss part (or maybe all) of 2011 after rotator cuff surgery, Kansas City will be in the market for a cheap, defensive-minded veteran catcher.
- The team is looking for right-handed hitting and will probably "scour the bargain bins" for the likes of a Matt Diaz or a Cody Ross. Dutton notes, however, that if the Royals are particularly taken with a higher caliber of right-handed hitting corner outfielder, they would be "willing to shell out a few million for a good fit." Such a player would be all the more important to the club if David DeJesus is traded in the winter.
I’d love for the Pirates to get Bruce Chen. He’s pretty much the coolest guy in baseball.
I could totally see Chen on the Pirates. I’m kinda surprised he hasn’t pitched there yet.
Agree that he would be a good addition for the Pirates. He is one of the coolest guys in baseball this side of Livan Hernandez. Regardless the team, I think with Chen’s history he’s worth no more than a 1 year deal. He certainly earned a shot at another year.
What really sucks about MLB salary structure is that a guy like Bannister who had a very poor year would likely get a raise in arbitration if the Royals were to tender him a contract. It’s based on service time rather than merit and the Royals are probably going to lose him because of it. While he had a bad year he’s a smart guy who could be serviceable for the Royals until their young guys are ready to take over. As it is he’ll likely be non-tendered and end up somewhere else and the Royals will either have to promote someone early, someone who’s not ready, or spend money on the free agent market to get a replacement, or possibly trade one or more of their prospects to acquire someone. Bannister isn’t all that great but he’s got a role on the Royals now. The fact that he’s going to get a raise after his year is going to mean the end of his career in KC.
I predict Atlanta non-tenders Matt Diaz, then signs him to a 2-year, $4 million deal.
It’s really exciting if your a Royals fan such as myself, I never thought I’d say this, but I think the Royals are saying “hey left handed prospects, we have enough of you!” John Lamb, Crawford Simmons, Chris Dwyer, Tim Collins, Mike Montgomery, Daniel Duffy are all top 100 prospects and have a chance to be special special pitchers. Don’t even get me started with the other prospects in the Royals organization. IT’S CRAZY GOOD!
I expect the Royals to be all over the non-tender market. Melky Cabrera, Matt Diaz, Cody Ross, Zach Duke, Jeff Francoeur, John Maine, James Loney, Ryan Theriot, Cody Ross, Mike Napoli, and Edwin Encarnacion are all potential fits.
I LOVE THE ROYALS!
That’s why your 50 underrated prospects were all Royals and Blue Jays players. Thanks for being biased!!!!!!!!
No Braves prospects in his top 50.
Non tenders can be nice bargains, especially when you’re filling short term spots. Hey if you get lucky and one of the non tenders performs above expectations and/or ends up worth the dollars, you’ve got ready made trade bait! Sometimes they come with extra years of control, which can also come in handy if the performance is serviceable. It would be the first place the Royals should look.
Would the Royals be interested in bringing John Buck back? Miguel Olivo? I think it was a mistake to choose Kendall over either one of those guys last season, and now they don’t have a catcher. Is there a Braves cast off out there for them?
No doubt about it. You’re exactly right. Brad hawpe is another guy.
Thing is, some players just have comeback seasons3 James loney would be great.
I’m about 99.99% certain Francoeur will be the Royals starting right fielder next year but I’d rather see Cody Ross out there. Loney is a no-fit for the Royals: Billy Butler is ten times better (even with his lowsy defense) and Kila has a better upside, with his power potential and Eddie Yost on-base numbers. The names Zach Duke and John Maine look intriguing… sort of. Dou you think they could resurrect their careers in spacious Kauffman Stadium? Darrell May and Brian Anderson had success in 2003 until they moved in the fences, then they were terrible.
The Royals have plenty needs. I am really excited about Wil Myers, their catching prospect, but they’ll need someone to play next year while Kendall is on the shelf and I don’t think Brayan Pena or Lucas May have what it takes to be regulars–even in a stopgap role. Napoli seems too much for the Royals.
If Theriot would like to move back to short, I’d prefer to see him there than Betancourt. His .288 on-base percentage is bench material. I hate Mike Aviles and hope Moore can swap him. The dude can hit, but watching him play the field takes me back to Little League. Chris Getz needs to play over that scrub.
Third base may be a problem area too. I’m certain Moustakas isn’t ready for the Majors. He only walked eight times in over 200 Triple-A at-bats this year–Major League pitchers will exploit his lack of patience. But they have OF/3B Alex Gordon and hopefully a healthy, power-hitting Josh Fields in case Moose isn’t ready.
Ross hopefully will get a chance as a starting OF somewhere again next year and only sign for 1 year, though not sure KC is the place with a fairly large stadium that is a bit huge for his power and lots of range to cover for his preferred position CF.
Wasn’t Buck non tendered last off season because of problems with management to begin with? or was it Olivo that had problems with Hillman?
Since Minaya will no longer be a GM after this season, does that mean that The Contest is over?
Put another way, is Dayton Moore still obligated to sign Jeff Francoeur to a two-year deal?
I’m still waiting for the inevitable Gil Meche for Oliver Perez swap to go down, too. I guess that will happen shortly after the new Mets’ GM moves into his office.
DeJesus for Diaz and a pitching prospect? (Only if Diaz gets a contract from the Braves, of course.)
KC = Henry Blanco
My question to all of you KC fans out there is, even with all the blue chippers, what happens when those guys need to be re-signed? From what I read, KC might have the best system anywhere, but eventually those guys will want big money, can the Royals afford them? That’s the problem we have here in Baltimore. Everyone complains that the Orioles have a low payroll, but their young players will need to get signed, so the payroll in the next three to five years will automatically go up. Baltimore has MASN pumping millions into Angelos pocket and he’s a multi-billionaire anyway. He’s got deep pockets. Does Glass have the wherewithal to make the necessary signings when the time comes or will the Royals be the present day version of the Kansas City A’s?
I’d love for the Royals to be come winners again, their history and heritage is outstanding. And KC is a wonderful baseball town. The fans there deserve a winner as much if not more than any city in the bigs.