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Old 04-10-2003, 09:24 AM  
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Dutton: 4/9 Royals Q&A

Q&A on the Royals

By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Posted on Wed, Apr. 09, 2003

Q: Is Carlos Beltran serious about wanting to stay with the Royals?

A: If the Royals prove they can be a competitive team, then yes, I think he is serious. Beltran is comfortable in Kansas City. But he doesn't want to discuss any extension until after the season.

I don't think the Royals are willing to wait that long.

So unless Beltran or his agent, Scott Boras, offer some firm indication of what it would require for him to stay -- such as specifying a certain number of victories, etc. -- look for the Royals to continue trade talks.

Q: Why are the Royals changing their rotation instead of just letting the starters pitch when it's their turn?

A: Like most managers, Tony Pena wants to maximize the number of opportunities for his top starters. That means Runelvys Hernandez and Jeremy Affeldt will usually pitch with four days of rest, while everybody else will work around them.

Q: If the Royals are in contention in July, will owner David Glass authorize enough spending to add a player or two before the trading deadline?

A: Glass has always said he would do just that. But the catch is how the team defines contention. Do the Royals have to be in first place? Or leading the wild-card race? Within three games of a playoff spot? Within five games?

Remember, the club is still in the early phases of a rebuilding plan -- the latest rebuilding plan, anyway. It's doubtful that general manager Allard Baird will do anything that jeopardizes the long-term future. In other words, don't expect the Royals to trade a top prospect for an aging veteran.

But if cash is the only hurdle to making a deal that promises an immediate boost, Glass is likely to approve the outlay.
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