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Old 04-05-2017, 10:55 AM  
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*** Official 2017 Royals Repository ***

Chiefsplanet’s (Proposed) 2017 Season Title: One Last Ride

Midish-Season Update (Royals 51-47, 2nd Wild Card, 1.5 GB of ALC):

We're halfway through 2017, and fittingly to the Chiefsplanet's 2017 Season Title, the Royals are all-in on what will likely be one final run with the current core. While many are worried the Royals will take a 2004 style tumble after this year, the farm system is hardly the barren wasteland it was during the Baird years. To see what's in the pipeline and what we have to look forward to, check out this exceptional list and analysis that Duncan put together of our system.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...htmlview#gid=0

While I had the honor of starting this thread this year, Duncan will always have a VIP pass to this OP, and can add more content at any time.

2017's Burning Questions Revisited:

1. What is the threshold between being “buyers” and “sellers” at the deadline?

We're buyers, baby.

In April, I argued that it would be a wise strategy for us to sell if we were 5 GB or worse, but that Dayton would likely add supplemental pieces for us to load up for another run if we were 1-2 GB. On July 24th, the Royals found themselves in sole possession of the 2nd wild card spot and 1.5 games back of the division. In April I said the Royals might pull the trigger on someone like Alex Cobb and resign Luke Hochevar, but since the Rays are also buyers and Luke's shoulder hasn't rebounded, this prediction hasn't come to fruition. Luckily, Dayton Moore again proved much more adept and creative than me by adding Trevor Cahill (good call, Duncan), Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter in a single trade. Giving us a solid starter to compete in 2017, and two relievers whom we will control through 2019 and 2021, respectively, keeping Moore's new vision through 2019-2020 intact. Moore has hinted that the Royals will continue to pursue the right deals if they're there, so the fun may not be over just yet. While we may not have the bullets to pull in a "star" like Cueto or Zo, Moore's adeptness may yet again net us what we need for another run in October.

2. Can Gordo and Moose bounce back to 2015 levels?

In April I asked if Gordo could at least set the table at a 265/325/425 clip and if Moose could deliver damage around a 265/335/500 clip for an entire year. This season Mr. Moustakas has been the prospect that was promised, delivering at a 277/307/568 clip as of this update. Gordo, on the other hand, has put up an unbelievably abysmal line thus far. But, if there is a silver lining, it's that Gordo has performed at a 246/311/432 line since June 1st, and if he can continue to perform near that mark, he will be more than a valuable asset at the bottom of the lineup while he continues to provide the best LF defense in the league.

3. Can Ned Yost manage a bullpen?

In April, I felt that despite the poor start, Royals bullpen would ultimately be "solid" this year, but the question was whether "solid" was good enough for Ned. I argued that the Royals needed Soria to bounce back and that Ned would need to start being strategic in his L/L and R/R matchups. While Ned has still made at times baffling and frustrating decisions with his starters (such as allowing Travis Wood to try to "get the win" and still insisting on sending Hammel out for the 6th, he's mostly done a good job).

MASH: Minor/Moylan - Alexander - Soria - Herrera (Credit to C3HIEF3S for the origins of the phrase) have cemented into reliable pieces, and now that Herrera is showing signs of stabilizing, our dumping of Wood, our call up Flynn, and the acquisition of Buchter and Maurer, the Royals have the potential to enter October with one of the best and deepest bullpens in the postseason.

4. Will the Royals find a boost from an unexpected X-Factor to lift them to contention?

Cool-Whit, Boni, Mike ****ing Minor, and Alexander have come up huge thus far. Cool Whit is, incredibly, is second on the team in WAR and has more than replaced Zo's presence on the team. They, like the X-Factors on the 2014-2015 teams, have been critical cogs as we've raced back to contention, while Cool-Whit and Boni also have provided a rosier outlook for this team's future. It's worth noting that Salvador Perez and Jason Vargas has been beasts on offense and the mound (along with Sal providing his customary defensive excellence), but I am still a bit wary of Salvy's annual Yost assisted offensive drought as the team moves into August, along with Vargy regressing to his averages.

5. Can Jorge Soler and Brandon Moss be productive contributors in Kauffman’s dimensions?

Ouch, no, but the Royals shift to power-hitting in the juiced ball era looks like one that will pay off. Thankfully, Moss is showing signs of entering his seasonal hot streak where he becomes corn-fed Jesus for a month, and we'll need him hot to keep up with Cleveland down the stretch. While Jorge has been painful to watch in the majors, his scorching performance in AAA should give one a bright hope for the future. While some may disagree, I offer Moose, Hos, Gordo, and Duffy's struggles as exhibit A for why it is far too early to give up on Soler's potential.

Bonus Question - Is Raul Mondesi truly ready to be an everyday player?

Ha! Not even close. However, like Soler, his progress in AAA is incredibly encouraging. With ceilings like Lindor and floors being Esky being thrown out there, it's hard not to be excited about his future.

The Picture Forward

There are many reasons to be excited, and not only for 2017. The Royals emergence of Cool Whit, Bonifacio, and Scott Alexander, and the fact that we have pieces like Salvador Perez, Danny Duffy, Kelvin Herrera, Jorge Soler, Ryan Buchter, Brandon Maurer Cheslor Cuthbert, and Raul Mondesi until at least 2019 should leave one feeling pretty optimistic. Re-up Moose or Hos (and heck, re-sign Dyson while we're at it), and suddenly this team looks very much like one that could compete for the indefinite future.

The Royals are all in again, buckle in and enjoy the ride.

April OP:

Spoiler!

Last edited by Chiefspants; 08-02-2017 at 01:53 PM..
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:44 PM   #3961
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The first two games against the Tigers, the Royals will be starting Left Handed pitchers (Vargas & Woods). Is this just the way it worked out or is there some strategy about lefties against Detroit?
I highly doubt the strategy against Miguel Cabrera, JD Martinez and Ian Kinsler is to purposely arrange your rotation to make sure they get ab's against your lefties.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:13 PM   #3962
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I highly doubt the strategy against Miguel Cabrera, JD Martinez and Ian Kinsler is to purposely arrange your rotation to make sure they get ab's against your lefties.
You're probably correct but, three out of the four games with Detroit, the Royals will be starting a lefty;

Vargas
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Duffy
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:32 PM   #3963
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:32 PM   #3964
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:39 PM   #3965
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I'm a Soler supporter and was fine with the Davis trade -- I still like the chances of it working out over the next few years. But man, he's been godawful this season, far, far, far worse than he ever was with the Cubs. This just may be a lost season for him.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:04 PM   #3966
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100% fine with the Soler move for the sole reason that he's getting everyday AB's. It makes no sense to me why Moss has been given the leash that he has, but if the Royals are dead-set on giving Moss AB's over Soler, then Soler needs to be in the minors getting work in.

I imagine, barring injuries at the major league club, Soler will be in Omaha until September call-ups. While his track record has been brutal in KC thus far, the hand he has been dealt has been just as brutal for how raw he is and how little everyday major league experience he has gotten to this point.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:33 PM   #3967
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Royals said to be 'very aggressive' in their pursuit of Lance Lynn.

Eh. Cuthbert's been hurt all season and bad. Dozier's been hurt. The Cardinals don't need pitching unless it's righthanded bullpen help and if the Cards were looking short term well hell, they could just move Lynn to the 'pen.

Pitching salaries are crazy enough that the Cardinals could price-enforce Lynn into a likely sandwich pick this offseason. Offer him 4/$52 and he wouldn't take it, but it would be a starting point in negotiations and could yield him getting over that $50 million threshold (the only way he'd stay below it is if he took less term; 3/$48 or something like that). That being the case, the bare minimum return they should take is the rough value of that sandwich slot (so a fringe 1st round talent). If I'm the Royals I probably don't give that up.

Besides, the Royals SS and 1b cupboard is pretty bare. That's where the Cardinals really need help.

I'm honestly not sure I see a deal lining up here but baseball is weird so who knows?
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:41 PM   #3968
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:44 PM   #3969
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Originally Posted by DeepSouth View Post
You're probably correct but, three out of the four games with Detroit, the Royals will be starting a lefty;

Vargas
Wood
Hammel
Duffy
I think that is more of a function of the rotation has 3 lefties and it just fell that way this time. Could be wrong. I am way to lazy to check Detroit's numbers vs lefties this year.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:54 PM   #3970
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Glad Soler will get abs...stupid to call him up if he wasn't going to start everyday
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:07 PM   #3971
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We need a DH more than anything
I'm sure the Royals haven't soured on Mondesi at all, have they? He seems like a complete non-starter but would Lynn + DeJong get any traction?

DeJong's hit the hell out of the ball and played SS for the Cardinals for the last month. Full disclosure - I don't think that's his true talent level nor do I think he's an actual SS, but he can probably make himself almost league average defensively and even if he never draws walks, he'll always have 20 HR power.

So...maybe a 2-2.5 WAR player at SS? Give or take. And he'd be able to help the Royals right now if that's what they have in mind.

If I'm KC I don't even consider Mondesi as part of a Lynn deal but if I'm the Cardinals, I don't see a way to get a trade made that he's not a part of.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:07 PM   #3972
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Royals said to be 'very aggressive' in their pursuit of Lance Lynn.

Eh. Cuthbert's been hurt all season and bad. Dozier's been hurt. The Cardinals don't need pitching unless it's righthanded bullpen help and if the Cards were looking short term well hell, they could just move Lynn to the 'pen.

Pitching salaries are crazy enough that the Cardinals could price-enforce Lynn into a likely sandwich pick this offseason. Offer him 4/$52 and he wouldn't take it, but it would be a starting point in negotiations and could yield him getting over that $50 million threshold (the only way he'd stay below it is if he took less term; 3/$48 or something like that). That being the case, the bare minimum return they should take is the rough value of that sandwich slot (so a fringe 1st round talent). If I'm the Royals I probably don't give that up.

Besides, the Royals SS and 1b cupboard is pretty bare. That's where the Cardinals really need help.

I'm honestly not sure I see a deal lining up here but baseball is weird so who knows?

Two of the Royals top five prospects are SS at AA or higher (Mondesi at Omaha, Nicky Lopez at Northwest Arkansas). KC would actually match up fairly well there if the Cardinals are interested in Lopez.

Lopez is a college guy from Creighton with above average OBP skills. Not a ton of pop, but good speed and a good defender who will stick at SS.

I don't think the Cardinals can offer a larger contract and get the QO compensation, though I may be wrong. Believe it has to be the one year, $18 million qualifying offer.

Don't think Lynn would take that at this point, but who knows?


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Old 07-17-2017, 03:16 PM   #3973
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Two of the Royals top five prospects are SS at AA or higher (Mondesi at Omaha, Nicky Lopez at Northwest Arkansas). KC would actually match up fairly well there if the Cardinals are interested in Lopez.

Lopez is a college guy from Creighton with above average OBP skills. Not a ton of pop, but good speed and a good defender who will stick at SS.

I don't think the Cardinals can offer a larger contract and get the QO compensation, though I may be wrong. Believe it has to be the one year, $18 million qualifying offer.

Don't think Lynn would take that at this point, but who knows?


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They can't 'formally' do it, no. But they can offer the QO and then back-channel an offer to him. If he turns down the QO and goes the FA route, the Cards can still stay in the game and offer him the long-term deal that hits the 'magic number'. That way he either takes their offer and they get a relative bargain at a low AAV or he takes less term than he wants and stays under that $50 million threshold elsewhere.

Is Lopez a genuinely GOOD shortstop? Because I see a guy that's holding his own when he's at/over age but hasn't demonstrated that he'll be a genuine offensive asset. In other words, I see a lot of Greg Garcia in that boy.

If he's a no-pop middle-infielder who gets on base but is probably better served at 2b than SS, I don't see a ton of value there. If he's a guy that at least profiles as an above average defender and 'true shorstop' that the Cardinals haven't had since...shit, Renteria, then maybe there's grounds for discussion.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:22 PM   #3974
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Ah shit. I see a whole lot of of 'grit' and 'motor' in his scouting reports. 'Undersized' and 'solid' all over the place.

Dunno man, Lopez sure looks to have utility guy written all over him. Scouts are nice guys more often than they aren't and 'grit' is usually code for 'lacks tools'. It's not always a bad thing, but in THAT particular prospect profile, it usually becomes one by about the time they hit AAA.

I think I'd rather roll the dice on the QO with Lynn. Don't see any ceiling here and I think the Cards have a couple of guys like Lopez in their system already (Tommy Edman comes immediately to mind and they just used a pick on another one in Kramer from LSU).
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:24 PM   #3975
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I wouldn't say replace Esky at all. Surprisingly he's been the hottest hitter on the team and has risen his batting average .50 points in basically a month.
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