Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Royals' Early Offseason

It seems that the Royals are trying to become a legitimate team in the off-season. A week ago they signed Japanese relief pitcher Yasuhiko Yabuta in a move to expand their international presence. Then with today's signing of free agent Jose Guillen, they landed a decent power hitter for the middle of their lineup and the rumor is that they aren't done. They are reportedly going after the top Japanese free agent Hiroki Kuroda, and they've been mentioned to be making a run at Andruw Jones - another power hitting outfielder.

What would Royals fans have to complain about if their team managed to land multiple high-level talents in one off-season? I'm guessing it will go something like this... Guillen is going to be a problem in the dugout, he's a hothead, he's inconsistent and he's potentially going to be suspended after being named part of the steroid investigation. Jones is coming off of his worst season and maybe he's on the decline even though he should be in his prime. Kuroda was good in Japan, but his skills won't translate to U.S. major league ball.

Any free agent they do sign only has to show some sign of being helpful to another team to be trade bait. While signing free agents hasn't worked too well in the past for the Royals. But that was under the old management philosophy - sign free agents that are nearly drawing social security and maybe they can pull it together for one more season. Now they're going after free agents that are in the prime of their careers. It's a step in the right direction, but soon they're going to have to translate that to wins on the field. They improved by 7 games in 2007 over the 2006 season (GM Moore's first season), but it takes more than one season to prove a trend. Hopefully the 2008 season will show that they're becoming legitimate. In any regard, the buzz in KC is positive and I'm certainly looking forward to next season more with every signing.


Gina said...

I've been so wrapped up in the Santana debacle..err...trade talks that I haven't notice what other teams have been doing. I'm kinda worried at the threat boston might be should they sign him.

Who knows, maybe KC will go from legitimate to threatening soon!

Andrew Skaff said...

I don't understand how the Yankees can "pull out" of the Santana talks. They know he's going to Boston if they don't throw everything they have at Minnesota. The Sox will be nearly unbeatable with a third ace on their club. Pettitte is sticking around for another season, but the Yanks still need another top pitcher or two to keep up - Haren and/or Blanton perhaps?

KC isn't even threatening anyone in their own division, let alone the league. They might be considered threatening to Minnesota who's losing their whole roster this off-season. There are only two clubs in the AL that have a chance every year; NY and Boston. Best case scenario - KC strives for mediocrity.