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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Lima Time is Here Again 

The Royals signed Jose Lima to a one year, $2.5M contract on Saturday. (MLB)
Infielder Luis Ugueto was also signed on Saturday, to a minor league contract. (ATM)

Joe Randa was picked up by the Cincinnati Reds last week. (MLB)

Runelvys Hernandez could be the key to the 2005 Royals. (KC Star)
Dick Kaegel has the Royals mailbag, with a look ahead to 2005. (MLB)
Jeff Flanagan thinks there will be plenty of optimism in the clubhouse next year. (KC Star)
As 2004 comes to an end, we have to look back on the Royals’ season with disappointment. (MLB)
Steve Penn tackles the stadium issue. (KC Star)

Dodger Thoughts has some interesting reactions to the Lima signing. (All-Baseball)
Merry Christmas from Aaron Guiel. (MLB)

On the Farm:
On Thursday, in the Puerto Rican League, Ruben Gotay went 1 for 4 with a 2-run home run. He’s hitting .235.
On Tuesday, Gotay went 4 for 5 with a double, a triple, a hit by pitch, 3 RBI, and 3 runs scored. (BA)

From the Backs of Bubble Gum Cards:
“Darryl’s greatest baseball thrill was HR at Seattle in 1983 with his parents in attendance at the game.”
1987 Topps #99 Darryl Motley

// posted by Harley @ 9:15 AM

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Roster Shaping Up 

It’s the first day of winter! That means that spring’s not far away…
Miguel Asencio was not offered a major league contract. He still may be signed to a minor league deal. (MLB)

Rob & Rany react with thumbs up for the Santiago trade, thumbs down for the Marrero trade. (robneyer.com)
Tony Pena insists that he hasn’t picked an Opening Day starter yet. (KC Star)
A look ahead at the opening day roster: (KC Star)

C
John Buck
Alberto Castillo

1B/DH
Mike Sweeney
Ken Harvey

IF
Tony Graffanino
Angel Berroa
Chris Truby/Mark Teahen
Chris Clapinski

OF
David DeJesus
Abraham Nunez
Eli Marrero
Terrence Long
Matt Stairs

SP
Zack Greinke
Brian Anderson
Runelvys Hernandez
Jimmy Gobble
Denny Bautista/Mike Wood

RP
Jeremy Affeldt
Mike MacDougal
Scott Sullivan
Jaime Cerda
Dennis Tankersley
Andy Sisco
Shawn Camp/Nate Field

Steve Treder has a nice article on Cedric Tallis, the Royals' first Executive Vice-President, who orchestrated the success of the 1968 expansion draft. (Harball Times)
Former Royal Ted Abernathy died on Saturday. (MLB)
Charlie Seraphin, the Royals’ Vice President of Sales & Marketing, won’t be back in 2005. (KC Star)

This Date in Royals History:
December 21, 1981—22-year old Mike Jones, expected to be in the club’s 1982 rotation, crashes his car while driving under the influence. He does not pitch in the majors again until 1984.

Barring any big acquisitions, this will be my only post this week. Happy Holidays!

// posted by Harley @ 8:53 AM

Friday, December 17, 2004

Santiago Dealt, Marrero Acquired 

The Royals picked up Eli Marrero yesterday, in a trade for Jorge Vasquez. Allard Baird plans to platoon Marrero with Matt Stairs and Terrence Long--Marrero hit .415 against lefties last season. (KC Star)
The Benito Santiago trade for pitching prospect Leo Nunez was also completed. (AP)

Rob and Rany want to see the Royals go after Odalis Perez. Sounds good to me. (robneyer.com)
Joe Posnanski is happy the Royals weren’t among the big spenders at the winter meetings. (KC Star)
Dick Kaegel‘s latest Royals Mailbag, on Sammy Sosa, Aaron Guiel, Calvin Pickering, Ken Harvey, and the All-Star Game. (MLB)
The Royals Caravan visited Joplin, Missouri, on Wednesday. (Joplin Globe)

On the Farm:
On Wednesday, Ambiorix Burgos allowed 3 runs on 1 hit and a walk, striking out 1 in 1 1/3 innings. He took the loss and his Dominican League ERA is now at 2.12.
In a different game, Denny Bautista threw 5 innings for a win, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk, striking out 3. His ERA is 6.92.

Alberto Castillo and Abraham Nunez both played for the Dominican Republic in the Dominican-Puerto Rican All-Star Game on Sunday. Castillo went 0 for 1 with a strikeout and Nunez went 1 for 4 with a run scored and a strikeout. The Dominicans won, 6-5. (BA)

This Date in Royals History:
December 17, 2003—Royals sign free agent Kelly Stinnett

// posted by Harley @ 9:22 AM

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Five for Rule V 

Andy Sisco was selected by the Royals for $50K in the Rule V Draft. Sisco is a 6’9” left-handed pitcher with a 95-mph fastball, who inevitably draws comparisons with Randy Johnson. Under the Rule V conditions, the Royals must keep Sisco on their roster all season, or offer him back to the Cubs for $25K. No Royals players were taken by other teams.
Andy Sisco’s career minor league numbers:
4 seasons, 331 IP, 3.73 ERA, 365 K, 145 BB

In the minor league portion of the Rule V draft, the Royals also picked up:
RHP Chris DeMaria from Pittsburgh: 2 seasons, 78 IP, 3.34 ERA, 14 BB, 63 K
3B Brennan King from Los Angeles: 6 seasons, 696 OPS, 98 2B, 34 HR, 198 BB, 391 K
RHP Cesar Herrera from Texas: 6 seasons, 479 IP, 4.43 ERA, 185 BB, 312 K
C Jared Price from Los Angeles: 5 seasons, 626 OPS, 33 2B, 21 HR, 90 BB, 259 K

LHP Brad Stiles, who played at Wilmington and Burlington this year, was taken by the Cubs. (KC Star, Baseball Cube)

The Royals are rumored to be interested in Sammy Sosa, despite his $35M price tag over the next 2 years. (MLB)
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Benito Santiago will go to the Pirates in exchange for pitching prospect Leo Nunez, with the Royals throwing in part of Santiago‘s 2005 salary. (Pittsburgh Live)
Kelly Stinnett signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks on Monday. (The Sports Network)

Here’s MLB’s Winter Meetings coverage for the Royals. (MLB)
Allard Baird believes he can keep the core of this team together for the next 5 or 6 seasons. (KC Star)
Things are different than they were a year ago for Tony Pena.(KC Star)

A stadium improvement sales tax for Jackson County may be on the ballot in April. Jackson County was the only county to vote in support of the BiState II proposal in November. (Wichita Eagle)

On the Farm:
In the Puerto Rican League, Ruben Gotay went 2 for 3 with a walk and 2 runs scored on Thursday, dragging his average up to .222. (BA)

This Date in Royals History:
December 14, 2003—Royals sign free agent Tony Graffanino

// posted by Harley @ 7:53 AM

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Winter Meetings 

Allard Baird is working on a trade that would bring 24-year old outfielder Austin Kearns to Kansas City. Kevin Mench and Jason Michaels are also possibilities, but Baird only has about $10M to spend. And he‘ll be spending it on youngsters. (KC Star, MLB)
Benito Santiago might just be the Royals’ backup catcher in 2005. (KC Star)

Former Royals who have signed as minor league free agents:
Jimmy Serrano - Oakland
Kris Wilson - Boston
Brandon Berger - St. Louis
Brad Voyles - Yankees

Joe Randa has received interest from Minnesota and Texas, while Juan Gonzalez could wind up in Oakland or Tampa Bay. (KC Star)

Royals Caravan:
The Royals Caravan will head to southwestern Missouri and eastern Kansas next week. (MLB)
They made a stop in Maryville, MO, last week. (Maryville Daily Forum)

Bonds Reaction:
Is Andres Blanco‘s future riding on how the steroid problem is dealt with? Joe Posnanski thinks so. (KC Star)
Mike MacFarlane says that Barry Bonds still belongs in the Hall of Fame. (KC Star)
Buck O’Neill says he believes that Bonds did not knowingly take steroids. He also predicts a dramatic improvement for the 2005 Royals. (Sun-News)

Monarchs Legacy:
70 years ago, Satchel Paige struck out 44 batters in three games, in the Denver Post Tournament, the only integrated tournament of its time. The Kansas City Monarchs also played in that tournament, but Paige appeared with a mostly white House of David barnstorming team. (Denver Post)
Former KC Monarch Byron Johnson is the oldest living Negro Leaguer in Colorado. (Denver Post)

On the Farm:
On Thursday, Ruben Gotay went 2 for 3 with a solo home run and a walk. He’s hitting .196 in the Puerto Rican League.

On Tuesday, Ambiorix Burgos threw 2 scoreless innings for his 2nd Dominican League save. He struck out 2 batters and dropped his ERA to 0.95. (BA)

This Date in Royals History:
December 11, 1989—NL Cy Young winner Mark Davis signs with the Royals for $2.125 million. The 1990 Royals are the first team to have both defending Cy Young winners.
December 11, 1991—The Royals trade Bret Saberhagen and Bill Pecota to the Mets for Gregg Jefferies, Keith Miller, and Kevin McReynolds.
December 11, 2003—The Royals sign free agent Benito Santiago

// posted by Harley @ 9:11 AM

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Return of the Apeman 

Kevin Appier will be back with the Royals next year, though it might just be the Omaha Royals. He signed a minor league contract yesterday, which will become a $500K deal if he’s called up to the majors. If he stays healthy, he likely will be called up. The rumor that he's been working on a knuckleball has yet to be confirmed or denied. (AP)

Joe Randa, Juan Gonzalez, Kelly Stinnett, and Desi Relaford were not offered contracts, and cannot re-sign with KC until May 1st.

Rusty Greer told the Dallas Morning News that he’s received interest from the Royals, among other teams. (Team 4 News)
Jeremy Affeldt and Miguel Asencio are both arbitration-eligible this year. The Royals plan to offer Affeldt a contract by December 20th, but they have yet to make up their mind about Asencio. (KC Star)
Aaron Guiel could be taken by another team in the Rule V Draft. (KC Star)

The Royals have announced their 2005 Spring Training schedule. Exhibition games get underway against Texas on March 3, and conclude at Houston on April 3. Pitchers and catchers report on February 20th! (MLB)

Former Royals player and manager Hal McRae is now the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals. That‘s good news to his son, Brian McRae. (KC Star)
Dick Kaegel with the Royals mailbag, on the possibility of a 6-man rotation, signing free agent pitchers, and the future of Calvin Pickering. (MLB)
Phil Rogers looks ahead to the 2005 AL Central. (ESPN)

Carlos Beltran Panel:
The Astros blog Home Plate in Space is running a panel discussion of Carlos Beltran this week. Participants include myself, Will McDonald of Royals Nightly, and Bruce from KC’s Royal Fan Zone. Click on over to see the latest update!

The Mike Sweeney Story:
Don't wait another second to visit The Mike Sweeney Tribute Site, which unearths the truth behind Sweeney's 2 .400 seasons, and 83 home runs in 2003. Thanks to Will from Royals Nightly for discovering this one. (Progressive Boink)

This Date in Royals History:
December 8, 1983—Royals obtain Steve Balboni from the Yankees in a 4-player deal.
December 8, 1992—Royals sign free agents David Cone and Greg Gagne.

// posted by Harley @ 8:51 AM

Monday, December 06, 2004

Drugs, Trips, and Outer Space 

The release of grand jury testimony in which Benito Santiago admitted to using steroids will make trading him that much more difficult. (KC Star)

What does the Royals Caravan have in common with a Grateful Dead tour? It’s one long, strange trip. A great article that manages to be both hilarious and depressing! (KC Star)
The Winter Caravan makes its northern swing this week. David DeJesus, Mike Wood, Jeff Montgomery, and Denny Matthews will make stops in Trenton, MO, Cameron, MO, and Des Moines today; Lincoln and Omaha tomorrow, and in St. Joseph and Maryville, Missouri, on Wednesday. Get out and support these guys if you can! (MLB)

Lebanon, Missouri will host its Kansas City Royals Baseball & Girls’ Softball Clinic on January 29th. Instructors will include John Mayberry, Dennis Leonard, David Howard, Fred White, and Ryan "Lafevre". (Hope they get Ryan’s name spelled right eventually!) (Lebanon Daily Record)

Carlos Beltran Panel:
The Astros blog Home Plate in Space is running a panel discussion of Carlos Beltran this week. Participants include myself, Will McDonald of Royals Nightly, and Bruce from KC’s Royal Fan Zone. I’m definitely looking forward to reading these guys’ thoughts on Beltran--and already wishing I could improve a few of my answers!

On the Farm:
Ambiorix Burgos is continuing to improve--he should be a great arm in the Royals bullpen by 2006. (MLB)

On Saturday, in the Puerto Rican League, Ruben Gotay went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored, raising his average to .186.
On Friday, Gotay went 1 for 4 with a home run and 3 RBI. (BA)

This Date in Royals History:
December 6, 1979—The Royals obtain Willie Aikens from the Angels in a 5-player deal.

// posted by Harley @ 10:21 AM

Friday, December 03, 2004

Rollin' Down a Blue Highway 

This weekend, the Royals Caravan, including Jaime Cerda, Calvin Pickering, Dennis Leonard, Fred White and Ryan Lefebvre will be heading down US Hwy 50 to Jefferson City, Versailles, California, Sedalia, and Lee’s Summit, MO. (MLB)

Dick Kaegel with the Royals mailbag, on Jeremy Affeldt, Abraham Nunez, and the infield of the future. (MLB)

KC Monarchs pitcher Connie Johnson died on Saturday, at the age of 81. He was a member of the incredible 1942 Monarchs, and also won 40 games in the major leagues. (KC Star)

On the Farm:
Rob & Rany on Mark Teahen and Baseball America. (robneyer.com)
Here's Jim Callis of Baseball America's response to why Teahen was left of the AFL Top 20 list:
When we put together our AFL Top 20, we did more than just look at how the players performed in Arizona. The caliber of pitching in the AFL is not good, and you can't rush to judgment on a guy just because he puts up big numbers. Since the AFL created an official MVP award in 2002, the winners have been Ken Harvey, Jason Dubois and Chris Shelton. Our No. 1 prospects during the same time have been Mark Teixeira, B.J. Upton and Delmon Young. Which group would you rather build around?
Our prospect lists are based on a combination of a player's ceiling and the likelihood that he'll reach that ceiling. AFL performance is a very small part of our AFL prospect rankings. Contrary to what may be believed in some corners of the Internet, we don't ignore statistics. But you can't forget about tools and skills either, and a player's track record in the minors is much more important than how he did in Arizona, unless he has made some significant adjustment or progress.
Teahen may open next year as Kansas City's third baseman, but I see him topping out as an average big league third baseman at best. He not only doesn't project to hit 40 homers a year, he may struggle to hit more than 10-15. He hit 14 in 139 minor league games last year, and that was while playing in some very favorable hitting environments. Though managers ranked him the best defensive third baseman in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League this year, he's more competent than spectacular.
If all goes well, Teahen may be the next Joe Randa. That would make him a useful player, but not a cornerstone. No matter what it may say in "Moneyball," Teahen isn't going to be the next Jason Giambi.


Here’s MLB.com’s Royals Organizational Recap.

In the Dominican League, Denny Bautista allowed 5 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks without recording an out on Wednesday. His ERA has ballooned up to 7.71. Allard Baird says he’ll continue to be patient with Bautista. (KC Star)

Ambiorix Burgos threw 2 shutout innings on Tuesday. He allowed one hit and one walk, and struck out 4. His ERA is now 2.13. (BA)

This Date in Royals History:
December 3, 1969—Royals trade Joe Foy to the Mets for Amos Otis and Bob Johnson

// posted by Harley @ 8:50 AM