Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Catcher in the Why?

I don't know what to think about the Royals lack of moves, yet the plethora of rumors surrounding the team have been somewhat entertaining. Ivan Rodriguez, Felix Pie, Milton Bradley, Jason Kendall have all been names associated with the Royals. None so far are actually wearing Royal blue.

It is obvious that Dayton Moore is treading lightly, not making bad trades...yet, and getting a feel for the market. I would hope that he stays away from overpriced vets like he did with Ivan Rodriguez, and perhaps stick with actually better options that he already has on the roster like Brayan Pena and John Buck. Pena's OPS+ was 100 last year, while Buck's was 103. Pena caught steals at a rate of 35% in 2009, while Buck had a career low of 16%. Here now are the OPS+ and Caught Stealing rates of Royals' suitors Jason Kendall, Bengie Molina and Rod Barajas from 2009:

Kendall: 72 OPS+, 20% CS
B. Molina: 88 OPS+, 23% CS
Barajas: 73 OPS+, 34%

Put those numbers up against Buck and Pena's and it is clear that the Royals have a better catching tandem already on their 25-man roster than Free Agency can provide them. Buck and Pena should enter Spring Training as the two candidates for the starting catcher's job. It's not like the Royals have a rookie laden rotation that needs a veteran to teach them the way of success. Buck and Pena showed that they could handle the pitching staff with relative ease last year. There is no need to change this. There are much bigger problems that the Royals should be addressing. Like re-stocking a depleted bullpen, adding a lefty power bat to compliment Billy Butler and take pressure off Alex Gordon. Lefty starter anyone???

Once Dayton Moore gets over his love affair with overrated, awful, old catchers, then the Royals automatically become a better team.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Arguelles Deal Benefits KC

Dayton Moore promised several things when he came to Kansas City. Organizational depth, responsible spending, a parade on the plaza and more emphasis on signing latino players.

So far, one of those things has come true.

This weekend, the Royals allegedly signed "19 year old" Cuban pitcher Noel Arguelles. Next to Aroldis Chapman, he is the biggest international free agent out there. So much in fact that a few experts even had him listed in the top ten Free Agents amongst the likes of John Lackey and Jason Bay.

This signing is a big sign of progress. Heading in to 2010, our lower minor league system is stocked with talent. The point is, you can only build so much through the draft. The best teams in baseball go down into the Carribean and South America and find the next Johan Santanas and Miguel Cabreras. Is Arguelles going to be as good as Santana? Doubtful. But we won't know that until you get the kid into your system and start breeding him as a big leaguer. We have yet to see ANY of Dayton Moore's draft picks come up through the system to the big leagues. Arguelles has the potential to fly through the lower minors and be knocking on the AA or even AAA door by the end of the 2010 season which would put him on the heels of Aaron Crow, if Crow can develop quickly. If Crow and Arguelles can be on the same page development-wise, then the Royals rotation looks very solid heading in to the final years of Zack Greinke's contract.

This is why I still have one foot on the Dayton Moore bandwagon. We haven't seen any of HIS players yet. Lets wait and see, Royals fans. Maybe Dayton Moore has drafted the players to compliment and maybe even outshine Zack Greinke and Billy Butler. For now, there is still some reason to hope.

Dayton Moore hasn't given up yet and neither should you.