First off, I want to thank everyone who tuned in to the Royals Kingdom Radio Show this weekend. It was another great show that has received tremendous positive feedback. A big thank you to Greg Schaum who was our guest.
On to bigger things...
The thing that stood out to me the most this weekend during my interview with Schaum, was that he said Jose Guillen's rehab is not going as well as the Royals planned (big surprise). So this news stirred up my interest in what may happen before spring training starts on February 18.
We've seen it year in and year out. The Royals make awful trades, sign marginal talent in free agency, etc. But with the news of Guillen's rehab mess, the Royals are presented with a huge decision. Do you try to rehab Jose and try to get at least 100 games out of him or do you eat the $12 million dollar contract, release him and give players already in the organization a shot at the big league club during spring training? Hopefully the Royals are looking at the latter as their primary option. If you release Jose Guillen, it is addition by subtraction. There are no big money, long term contract-type free agents left. You already have money allotted for the draft and you are in year two of a refurbished stadium that will probably continue to generate revenue. Eating $12 million dollars in salary will not hurt you in the short term or the long term.
My advice: eat the contract.
The $12 million still owed to Guillen is not the issue here. The issue is that Guillen will more than likely be a negative influence on the team. If he stays on the team, he will probably see multiple stints on the disabled list and only hamper the development of this team.
So what options do the Royals have?
Option 1: Keep Jose Guillen. Pay him $12 million dollars. Have him play in less than 80 games, hit 8 home runs, drive in 50 runs, commit defensive miscues in Right Field, take away DH reps from Billy Butler, continue to strike out in big situations and prevent this team from winning games.
Option 2: Cut Jose Guillen. Pay him $12 million dollars. Call up Kila Ka'aihue and platoon him with Josh Fields at the DH position. Place Mitch Maier in RF. This immediately improves the Royals defense and gives young players a chance to develop.
It may seem like the Royals don't have many options right now, but this is definitely an option. If Dayton Moore can cut dead weight with Jose Guillen, admit a mistake and eat the huge salary, this will be a positive move for the Royals.
It isn't that complicated. There aren't miles of red tape and circumstances that are inhibiting this team's ability and chance to contend, only a seemingly incompetent GM who can't evaluate talent at the Major League level.