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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Dayton Moore on why Royals did not sell | MLB.com

Actually where they were on July 30th doesn’t matter. If they make the playoffs it was a good idea to keep the team together; if they don’t, it wasn’t.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore knows the question will be coming if his team doesn’t make a miraculous run down the stretch: Why didn’t you sell at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, considering all of Kansas City’s pending free agents?

“It’s a fair question,” Moore told MLB.com. “Those are good questions, and they should be asked. But where were we on July 30?”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2017 at 07:45 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: royals

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   1. Khrushin it bro Posted: September 20, 2017 at 07:54 PM (#5535433)
Hindsight is 20/20, he can only make decisions based on what he knows at the time.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: September 20, 2017 at 08:29 PM (#5535467)
Sheesh, you'd think he'd at least know there are 31 days in July. :-)

They were 55-48, 2 games behind Cle, a half-game behind the Red Sox for the first WC spot and a 2.5 game lead over Tampa for the 2nd spot. There's absolutely no way they should have sold at that point. They did have a zero run differential but Tampa was just +8, Sea +1, Tex -1 ... and the Twins -72.

About the only other argument to make in favor of selling is that they were just 1 game over and had to leap 2 teams to grab the 2nd WC spot. So in theory they could have been shopping, looking to strike an early deal for more prospects. Still, most teams won't sell there, granted with so many FAs, KC had more incentive to sell. It was an ill-timed winning streak.

Since July 30, they've gone 18-29 with a -81 run differential. Oops.
   3. Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2017 at 09:27 PM (#5535495)
Just about every team has a hot streak at some point. A good GM will have a realistic assessment of his team. The Royals just aren't (and weren't) very good. Did they have a chance they could make the playoffs? Sure. Did they have a good chance? No. Of course, maybe nobody was offering anything of value at the time, which also means they shouldn't have played out the season in the first place.
   4. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 20, 2017 at 09:50 PM (#5535512)
I agree with Walt, and don't have to look any further back than 2014.

After the July 31 game that year the Royals were 55-52, four games back of Detroit in the division and 3 1/2 games behind Toronto for the second wild card, tied with the Yankees and also half a game behind Seattle. They had a +2 run differential. I'd suggest that their chances then were about as good as their chances were this year on July 31.

In 2014, KC went 19-10 in August, finishing the month tied for first with the Tigers and half a game in front of Seattle for the second WC. This year, they went 10-18 in August and fell out of the picture.

That said, I'd agree with Jim that this team isn't as good as that one was, certainly not close on the pitching-and-defense side of the ledger. Nonetheless, I don't fault Moore for trying to keep it together for another run.

-- MWE
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 20, 2017 at 09:50 PM (#5535513)
Just about every team has a hot streak at some point. A good GM will have a realistic assessment of his team. The Royals just aren't (and weren't) very good. Did they have a chance they could make the playoffs? Sure. Did they have a good chance? No. Of course, maybe nobody was offering anything of value at the time, which also means they shouldn't have played out the season in the first place.

The Twins are probably going to the playoffs with 84 wins, and a barely positive run differential. The idea that average teams should just give up before the season starts is pernicious to the sport.

We really don't want a league where 10 teams are actively trying not to win every year.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2017 at 09:50 PM (#5535514)
Smart to stand pat in his situation. What would Moustakas or Cain get you, just more shitty relief pitcher prospects?

We really don't want a league where 10 teams are actively trying not to win every year.

That sounds familiar, snapper.
   7. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: September 20, 2017 at 10:22 PM (#5535528)
The market for hitters was pretty weak this year. The Mets traded Duda, Granderson, Reed, and Bruce and barely got anything in return. In different circumstances, the right move might have been to make trades.
   8. cmd600 Posted: September 20, 2017 at 11:25 PM (#5535568)
Smart to stand pat in his situation.


They traded prospects away to get some help.
   9. stevegamer Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:14 AM (#5535585)
Actually where they were on July 30th doesn’t matter. If they make the playoffs it was a good idea to keep the team together; if they don’t, it wasn’t.


This is the worst kind of reasoning, as it's purely outcome-based, and is reliant on events that are unknown when the decision(s) are made. Depending on what happens in the future, every team's a winner, and every team's a loser. Just look at the preseason analyses of teams, and see who is going to contend - and how accurate it looks now. But it gets worse:

Just about every team has a hot streak at some point. A good GM will have a realistic assessment of his team. The Royals just aren't (and weren't) very good. Did they have a chance they could make the playoffs? Sure. Did they have a good chance? No. Of course, maybe nobody was offering anything of value at the time, which also means they shouldn't have played out the season in the first place.


With the resulting follow-up in #3, it sounds like the issue was the team even trying this season. Is the ideal solution to try only when you are a prohibitive favorite? If that's the case, it's time to avoid trying, ever. Clearly you've got to know when to fold, but this wasn't the time. As of July 30th, they were in a wild card spot, within striking distance of the division.

MLB Standings July 30 2017

A GM that sells at the deadline while holding down a Wild Card spot hasn't learned the secret to surviving in his job. Among his responsibilities is to keep the fans happy, and tanking the rest of the season when you are in a playoff spot should be an action that gets you fired. Yes, the Royals are lacking some offense, and the rotation is out of aces, but the bullpen is still good.

If KC gets hot, and they make the playoffs, will that make the decision right? What if they miss the playoffs due to a fluky bloop hit, or somebody on another team balking in a winning run to knock them out? Knowing when to throw away a season is a very useful skill, but the Royals aren't the Phillies.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:17 AM (#5535586)
A good GM will have a realistic assessment of his team.

And a realistic assessment of other teams. As Snapper notes, the AL teams in the 2nd WC chase are pretty pathetic. Heck, the Royals aren't even out of it yet, 4.5 games back. They are a half-game better than Tampa who, if I recall correctly, didn't trade anybody and did trade for Duda. They are one game worse than Tex who did trade Darvish and Lucroy, said oops, and traded for Miguel Gonzalez. They're a half-game worse than Seattle who did nothing but trade Steve Cishek to Tampa.

The Twins did what you suggested. On July 24, they were 49-49 and traded for Jaime Garcia. A few days later they were 50-53 and traded away Garcia and then traded their closer Brandon Kintzler. They probably wish they had both back -- their current closer is Matt Belisle! But they have gone a whopping 28-20 since then anyway.

An honest assessment of the Royals would be that they had a zero run differential and had been lucky to be 7 games over ... but all they had to do was play to that run differential for the rest of the season and finish with 84-85 wins ... that would probably be enough. The notion that any projection is good enough to tell the difference between a true 500 team and a true 470 team with any confidence is foolish.

On March 31, 538 put the Royals at 74-88. Even if the Royals played to that level from July 30, they'd have finished with 80 wins (which they still might).

On July 26 (closest to July 30), they had the Royals projected to 84 wins, a 46% chance at the playoffs and a 21% chance at the division, all on a -16 run differential.

On Aug 2, none of that had changed except they'd crept up to 50% and 24%.

By Aug 9, things were falling apart to 82 wins and 31/11. On Aug 23, they were still holding fairly steady at 82 wins and 22% but no real shot at the division. Today they're projected to 80 wins, 4 games behind the Twins, 2 behind the Angels.

So even by fancy saber nerd standards, Moore took a 50/50 gamble on his team at the deadline. Every GM would take that bet.
   11. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:25 AM (#5535589)
Tampa who, if I recall correctly, didn't trade anybody and did trade for Duda.


No, they made the head-scratching Beckham deal.
   12. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:48 AM (#5535593)
Why on earth would you sell when you are positioned in a playoff spot? Fans would rightfully revolt. If you're in that position you just have to see what your guys can do.
   13. QLE Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:59 AM (#5535596)
This is the worst kind of reasoning, as it's purely outcome-based, and is reliant on events that are unknown when the decision(s) are made. Depending on what happens in the future, every team's a winner, and every team's a loser. Just look at the preseason analyses of teams, and see who is going to contend - and how accurate it looks now.


And it's bad thinking in two separate ways: in its obsessing over results right now, not only does it make presumptions about past actions that are of questionable merit, but it also blows to hell any sort of long-term thinking by ignoring the concept that planning for the seasons to come is a good idea.
   14. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 21, 2017 at 08:25 AM (#5535631)
Still, most teams won't sell there, granted with so many FAs, KC had more incentive to sell.


Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but--an abundance of impending free agency departures strikes me as a reason to buy, not to sell, inasmuch as it indicates an unlikelihood of being in the next few years even as modestly good as you are right now.
   15. RickA. Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:10 AM (#5535733)
But where were we on July 30?


Well, since you asked. You were in Boston playing the Red Sox
   16. Wahoo Sam Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:54 PM (#5536136)
Something that rankles me to no end right now is this trend in baseball that every team should either be a buyer or a seller at the deadline. That if a team that's not in the race DOESN'T sell, they're stupid.

But worse than that is the notion that we somehow should "know" who the pretenders and contenders are.

As we see IN THIS thread, there are people who think teams should sell BASED ON HOW COMPETITIVE THE TEAM SEEMS TO BE, not how many games they've won. They'd rather see a second-place team with a winning record sell off the team than try to win a division title or grab a wild card spot. All based on this elusive talent level that doesn't line up with results on the field. They want the team to tank and rebuild rather than try to get into the playoff dance because the results must be unreliable. This is akin to giving the first base job to the guy who hits a lot of line drives in batting practice rather than the guy who has actually gotten extra-base hits in games.

I don't want to watch a league where 15 teams are ripping their teams apart every season at the end of July, even if some of them have a winning record at the time.

Bravo to the Royals for not bowing to the trend of buyer/seller and simply waiting to see what happens. They gave it a shot, and I bet their fans appreciate it.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: September 21, 2017 at 05:53 PM (#5536203)
If there's one thing Dayton Moore knows, it's how to hold onto a GM job! :-)

the Royals are lacking some offense

nuh-uh ... not since the break, at least not before Mooses's horrific Sept slump. 763 team OPS in the 2nd half. Hosmer 935, Cain 841, Whit 826, Moose 825, Moss 810, Escobar 727 (that's like a 1200 OPS for a good hitter), Melky 716. Perez fell apart in the 2nd half (654) and Gordon has continued to stink. Escobar was a 93 sOPS+ (very good for him) and the others were all 110 or better.

The pitching has collapsed, especially the starters. Hammel 5.07, Kennedy 6.83, Vargas 7.11, Cahill 7.89 (just 21 IP), some emergency starters who gave up 32 runs in 22 innings. Duffy was solid, a kid named Junis has been excellent but mainly they've given up 4-5 runs by the time the 6th has wrapped up.
   18. Zach Posted: September 22, 2017 at 07:22 PM (#5537106)
"It's a fair question," Moore told MLB.com. "Those are good questions, and they should be asked. But where were we on July 30?"

In a state of denial.
   19. Zach Posted: September 22, 2017 at 07:28 PM (#5537109)
The whole team has had senioritis all year long. Nobody knows where they're going to be next year, they just know it's going to be somewhere else. And ever since the trade deadline, they've played like second semester seniors.

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