View Full Version : Byrd's agent hopes to present Royals with offer in near future

11-05-2002, 10:36 AM
The more I think about it, I'd really like to have Byrd back. I just don't see where the Royals could find a better value. To get the same quality on the market (assuming Byd takes less than market) it would cost several million more per year. Especially in light of how much teams have been paying for middle relievers, as the author points out. I also think that Clemens, Maddux, Glavine, et al. are going to raise the bar on salaries, even if they are at a different level than Byrd. All it takes is one team overpaying a player (see Steve Karsay/Yankees) to upset the entire salary structure.

Posted on Tue, Nov. 05, 2002

Byrd's agent hopes to present Royals with offer in near future
The Kansas City Star

Several competitors have emerged to challenge the Royals' efforts to hold on to free-agent pitcher Paul Byrd, but Byrd's agent, Bo McKinnis, expects to put together a financial package for the club's consideration in the near future.

"The ball is really in my court," McKinnis said. "It's our turn to get back to them. I left it with them that we were going to get an initial feel for the market, then hope to put together a formal offer that could jump-start some dialogue."

Other clubs aren't allowed to approach Byrd with financial offers until the free-agent filing period expires a week from today.

"The calls we've received are just clubs expressing interest that they would like to have Paul," McKinnis said. "They're saying, `Please don't do anything without talking to us first.'

"We've been pleased with that, but there's not too much you can read into that. Some of those calls have been as short as 30 seconds."

The Royals are keenly interested in keeping Byrd, who was 17-11 last season with a 3.90 ERA in 33 starts. He led the American League with seven complete games, and his 2281/3 innings ranked sixth.

"I really think Paul wants to be here," said assistant general manager Muzzy Jackson, who handles the club's major contract negotiations.

"You get a feeling with guys when they want to get something done, like we did with (Mike) Sweeney. We've discussed parameters on a contract. We want to stay aggressive on this."

McKinnis and Jackson talked Monday, and both rejected reports in Sports Illustrated and ESPN.com that suggest Byrd has already determined he won't return to the Royals.

"That is definitely not accurate," McKinnis said. "Paul is absolutely looking for a good place for his wife and children, and they loved the Kansas City area."

Byrd, 31, wants a multiyear contract that offers a substantial increase in guaranteed money. He made $2.2 million last season in an incentive-laden contract that had an $850,000 base salary.

The market for free-agent pitchers is likely to be set this winter by Atlanta teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, both of whom are 36. Roger Clemens, 40, is also available but is expected to remain with the New York Yankees.

"We don't expect to be in that Glavine/Maddux range, obviously," McKinnis said. "At the same time, you look at what some middle relievers have got.

"If you look at the contributions those guys make as non-closers vs. what Paul did for the Royals, you've got to deem that guy (Byrd) to be more valuable."

The benchmark for middle relievers was set last year when the Yankees signed Steve Karsay for $22.25 million over four years. Texas also signed Jay Powell for $9 million over three years, and Todd Van Poppel for $7.5 million over three years.

"They want to see what Paul's market value is," Jackson said. "But we really think we have a good chance to keep him."

Winter updates

First baseman Ken Harvey continues to tear apart the Arizona Fall League. Harvey entered the week with 42 hits in 82 at-bats for a .512 average. He also has 28 RBIs in 24 games.

Right-hander Kyle Snyder has lowered his ERA to 2.89 in seven Arizona starts. He has 25 strikeouts and eight walks in 28 innings.

Outfielder David De***** has cooled from .382 to .297 in the last nine games in Arizona.

How soon before the Royals start to worry about shortstop Angel Berroa? He's just two for 21 in the Dominican Republic after a disappointing 2002.

Right-handers Mike MacDougal and Jeremy Hill are off to strong winter starts. Hill has two saves and a 1.69 ERA in five appearances in the Dominican Republic. MacDougal pitched 12/3 scoreless innings for a save in his first outing in Puerto Rico.

Lefty Jeremy Affeldt also had a successful winter debut, working three scoreless innings in the Dominican Republic.

New affiliate

The Royals have been informed by the commissioner's office that they will have a short-season affiliate in the Appalachian League. They just don't know yet whether it will be a new or existing franchise.

The Royals have been looking for a short-season team since Spokane of the Northwest League chose not to renew its agreement.

Muser interview

Former Royals manager Tony Muser interviewed recently for a job on the staff of San Diego manager Bruce Bochy. If he's hired, Muser could serve as the bench coach or third-base coach.

"He's got a lot of experience," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said. "He's managed five years in the big leagues. He's been with small-market clubs. He's managed in the minor leagues and been a roving instructor."

Muser also interviewed last week for the managerial opening in Seattle. He was fired April 29 by the Royals after compiling a 317-431 record in four-plus seasons.

Dr. Bombay
11-06-2002, 05:48 PM
I won't be upset if Byrd is back as long as we don't overpay. But I'm just scared of him getting hurt again. I don't really have anything to base that on except the Royals horrible bad luck. :(

11-08-2002, 01:59 PM
Does anybody have any ideas as to what free agents the Royals could realistically sign? (not only financially able, but a player willing to come to KC) I have to wonder what players think of the Royals' management and if that affects their decision heavily. I haven't heard too many names in connection with the Royals... has anybody else heard anything or know of any players? Personally, I'm thinking management may forgo any high (over)priced veteran talent and see how the young guns fare.

12-02-2002, 04:10 PM
If they dont resign Byrd they need to sign somebody. I read recently that the Royals were wanting to go with the youth movement? Weve been doing that for about 12 years now. They should be getting the picture by now! But I think that if they could sign 2 or 3 AVERAGE pitchers, instead of the horrid ones we had that they might contend for the division. That is if they can keep Randa,Sweeney,Ibanez, and so on. I think the offense is fine. Its the defense (pitching, relief mainly, that sucks!).

keg in kc
12-03-2002, 01:56 AM
According to radio reports, the Royals are meeting with Byrd tomorrow. Maybe an article in the Star later tonight. Dunno...

keg in kc
12-04-2002, 01:02 AM
It's looking pretty bad for signing Byrd, now. The team was supposed to me with him two days ago and didn't. Ditto for yesterday.

Starting to look more and more like they really screwed up by not signing him when they had the opportunity during the season...