"(Miguel Tejada has) obviously got a great track record and he's playing really well this winter. We've got a chance to see him a lot. Felix Francisco, one of our scouts, is actually a GM in the (Dominican Winter League) and has seen him play quite a bit and recommended we sign him."
Much has happened in the sports world and even Kansas City sports since our last post, but there are a couple noteworthy Royals notes to touch on, as well.
The Royals were one of the topics discussed on ESPN's Baseball Today Podcast last week. As you might expect, the Miguel Tejada signing was what caught the hosts' attention. Later on in the week, Moore talked to The Star about his recent handiwork.
While the likes of Keith Law were as perplexed as me as to where Tejada fits in with the Royals, Moore sounded dangerously confident Tejada would find a role on the Royals' 40-man roster — you remember, that exclusive list that had no room for Wil Myers during September 2012.
The good news is the $1.1 million that Tejada said he signed for is not guaranteed. He must first make the Major League roster and it sounds like a second base/utility infielder role will be his best chance at doing so. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a believer in Chris Getz or Johnny Giavotella, but I cannot envision a scenario in which a 38-year-old Tejada who didn't play a Major League game in 2012, will prove worthy of at least $1.1 million if he's handed a roster spot with the big league club. Not even after trying to read Richard Justice's touchy-feely, cliché-riddled, out-of-touch column on MLB.com.
As if Justice's column wasn't enough, MLB.com's Royals beat writer Dick Kaegel wrote a Fire Dayton Moore-like Q&A on New Year's Eve that I just noticed today. Normally I enjoy Kaegel's work, but this just read like a fanboy piece to me.
In his first bullet point, Kaegel said the Royals "certainly" should contend in the central because of 1) their rotation "upgrades" and 2) the fact they were merely 13 games out of first on Sept. 1 last year, the closest they've been to first place in September since 2003. Not 1.3 games, but 13 games behind a team in the Detroit Tigers that actually should be improved in 2013.
Later on he describes the rotation as being in "good shape," refers to Jeff Francoeur as a "middle-of-the-lineup" hitter. The rest of the piece is far more measured. I know MLB.com writers are discouraged from being critical (I was once an MLB.com intern), but I don't think they should be allowed to mislead readers either. If Kaegel truly believes what he wrote about the rotation, Francoeur and the overall state of the Royals, he's been talking to Moore too much.
Lastly, Peter Grathoff wrote a piece for The Star on the Royals' farm system. It gives an overview of what's left following the Royals' trade with the Rays and is very much worth reading. It made me think back to a podcast I heard last week (either Baseball Prospectus' Effectively Wild or ESPN's Baseball Today) on which the hosts discussed the possibility (or impossibility) of the Marlins trading Giancarlo Stanton.
They compared it to the Cowboys trading Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for five players and six draft picks. It got me to thinking about the most unlikely of scenarios: What if the Royals had traded for Stanton? What if, before the James Shields trade, the Royals traded their top 10 prospects for Stanton and Ricky Nolasco? Would that be too steep a price? Not enough? Personally, I can't imagine the Marlins and their history turning that offer down.
It's a moot point now since the Royals' top 10 prospects surely wouldn't be enough without Myers. But if I was going to go out and buy MLB 13: The Show, which I'm not, it'd be a deal I'd try to make. IF Moore had been that creative, he could have jettisoned Francoeur from the lineup for good with a franchise player who could have set the Royals' single-season home run record his first season. Moreover, Stanton would give stability to a lineup that has forced Alex Gordon to play every role and heaped too much pressure on Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. Plus, Stanton isn't a free agent until 2017.
And a rotation of Nolasco, Jeremy Guthrie, Ervin Santana, Bruce Chen and Jake Odorizzi would be at least comparable to the current rotation of Shields, Guthrie, Santana, Wade Davis and Chen. And who knows, maybe the Marlins would have give up a couple more veteran pieces to help the Royals contend right away. We'll never know. The GM running the Royals might be the least imaginative in baseball despite working in a market where being conventional doesn't pay dividends.
Fire Dayton Moore