It’s the big news of the day so let’s link to an AP news story! As had been rumored for months, John Sherman was approved as the new owner of the Kansas City Royals:
“He had a three-year indoctrination with the Indians. The Indians are regarded to be a very well-run and obviously very competitive on the field organization,” baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “I think the opportunity to function inside a quality major league organization gives John a unique opportunity to take over in Kansas City, not miss a step.”
There were a number of stories about the Sherman sale in the Star:
Inside this column on John Sherman’s purchase of the Royals being officially approved
– confirmation of our reporting that he had a path to take over the Indians.
– the scene in the room just before the vote. https://t.co/PEh1jsdOhG
— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) November 21, 2019
Lynn Worthy wrote about the meeting where the sale was approved:
“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there was a very moving moment during the major league meeting when the clubs thanked David Glass for the amazing service that he had done for the industry over the last 25 years, for his stewardship of the Kansas City franchise,” Manfred said. “I think for a lot of us — me included — David has kind of been the center of our industry in a lot of ways.”
He also wrote a story entitled “Royals’ payroll approach this offseason to remain the same under new owner Sherman”:
“From my conversations with Mr. Sherman, he’s completely supportive of where we are right now as an organization and what our philosophy is with regard to adding players,” Moore said. “Our payroll is a function of who our players are and where they are with their level of experience and service time. Because we have a lot of young players, our payroll is going to be naturally on the low end. As we get better and prove that we are ready to add a free agent or two, or impact player, I’m confident that we’ll be able to do that.”
Jeffrey Flanagan at MLB.com wrote about the sale, as well:
“Our goal, which I firmly believe we’ve achieved, was to have someone local, who truly loved the game of baseball and who would be a great steward for this franchise going forward,” Glass said toward the end of the season. “In John Sherman, we have found everything we were looking for in taking ownership of this franchise.”
Of course, Royals #1 pessimist, Rany Jazayerli, has provided us HO-scale misanthropes with our first talking point on the new ownership group:
John Sherman has owned the Royals for 2 hours and they haven’t signed a single free agent yet smh
— Rany Jazayerli (@jazayerli) November 21, 2019
Alec Lewis and the Royals portion of The Athletic (subscription required) starting to wake up after a little bit of an October slumber:
Over at Royals Farm Report, Drew Osborne continues his Trade Target series with Michael Baez:
It will take a a prospect or two of quality and some international slot money to get Baez, but he is not an unreal target. The Padres system is incredibly deep. At the MLB level they have Paddock, Richards, Lamet, Lucchesi, and Lauer listed as starters with Quantrill and Bolanos listed as their rotation depth. Above Baez in their system they have Gore, Patino, Morejon, and Weathers. The Padres can deal from a position of strength and the Royals can pick up a pitcher who can immediately slide into their starting rotation. The problem is the Padres see Baez currently as a relief pitcher. He fits their plans in the pen currently evidenced by 29.2 strong innings out of the Padres pen last year. Baez was called up in late July. I am targeting him as a starter for a weaker rotation.
Tim Huwe at Cubs SB Nation site Bleed Cubbie Blue suggests trading for recently waived Royals catcher Nick Dini.
Yahoo’s Gerard Gilberto lists a Royal farmhand among his “most interesting prospects left off 40-man rosters”:
Seuly Matias | OF | 2019 Organization: Kansas City Royals
Matias was Pete Alonso’s competition for the minor league home run crown in 2018. But he cut his hand getting his bag off of the team bus, and his season was cut short in August. He played to his profile as a player with big power, low average and a high strikeout rate leading into 2019, but everything plummeted this year. Matias was limited by a hand fracture to just 57 games, and he hit all four of his homers during a three-game span in mid-April. He’s got a very strong arm and, if he can regain his power, should be able to stick in right field. Matias struck out 98 times and batted .148 in a difficult environment in the Carolina League. But with a proven ability to hit the ball out of the park, a team could take a chance on him.
KOK is still creating content at a prolific rate:
We here at the Best of Royals Review (TM) can’t go more than a month or so without
looking randomly at Will’s posting history recognizing a story from this site’s founder. Last week we had a lot of chatter about one of the major lightning rods of the Dayton Moore era with much talk about Yuniesky Betancourt. This week, it’s time for another: Royals Complete The Inevitable, Sign Former Brave Outfielder, Out Machine, Jeff Francoeur
It could be argued that this isn’t even one of Will’s best articles. It probably had been sitting in the queue for months (years). But then you stumble across some classic lines that are just sublime:
Like a baby or a beautiful woman, Dayton reduces us all to cliche. His rote predictability, years encrusted now, has done the same to us. The Royals signing or trading for Jeff Francoeur has been a joke for over three years now. Francoeur’s the perfect Moore target: former Brave, former scouts darling, hacktastic out machine with some RBI myth/mojo from years back, supposedly a great clubhouse guy (which is why he’s on his third team I guess), older, getting more expensive. He’s the whole package. For Moore, Francoeur still roams the outfields of 2005. On some hot summer night in the South, Francoeur’s still ripping the cover off the ball.
With the owners’ meeting going on, there’s some other news around the MLB.
Greg Johnson was approved by the major league clubs as the new controlling owner of the San Francisco Giants… Johnson is the son of Charles Johnson, part of the group including late managing partner Peter Magowan that bought the Giants in 1993 and kept them from relocating to Florida. Greg Johnson will be chairman and Dean the vice chairman, and both will be managing members, the team said in a statement…
Following the decision Thursday at the owners meetings in Arlington, Texas, Giants president and CEO Larry Baer will still represent the club at the meetings, along with Johnson and Rob Dean, who had been handling leadership duties since March. Baer was suspended without pay from March 4 through July 1 after a video showed him in a physical altercation with his wife.
Dan Szymborski (Szymborski! Szymborski!!) writes about the first big free agent contract of the offseason: Yasmani Grandal to the White Sox for 4/$73M.
I wouldn’t worry about the fourth year of the contract. Why? Because I’d sign Grandal to a three-year, $73 million contract. There are only a few players with an All-Star baseline available to sign every year. This is exactly the type of move the White Sox should be making. They’re not close enough that they have to furiously attempt to fill every last hole with expensive veteran role players, but teams in their position should sign players they aren’t likely to create themselves.
More importantly, Craig Edwards (also Fangraphs), notes that the Kent Bottenfield chain is (sadly?) finally over.
If prefer more snark over whimsy, R.J. Anderson at CBS Sports has this handy “Offseason guide to the excuses teams will have for not pursuing the best available talent”.
We’re going to revisit another game this week, one of my favorites of all time. In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, legendary compose Koji Kondo takes his overworld theme from the original Legend of Zelda and enhances it beyond what the NES could create. Today’s song is Hyrule Field from Zelda:LttP: