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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How much longer before Royals shake things up in dugout, front office?

Robothol’s latest. A lot of good stuff.

An agent, of all people, suggested a perfect replacement for the retiring Derek Jeter: Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, who is eligible for free agency at the end of the season.
The agent, who has no affiliation with either player, made an excellent point: Hardy is steady and unassuming, and his low-maintenance personality would make him well-suited to replace a legend.
Hardy, who turns 32 on Aug. 19, missed nearly a month with a strained left oblique earlier this season. He’s batting .304 with a .701 OPS, albeit with no home runs, in 158 at-bats.
His defense remains solid. And his transition could be relatively seamless, considering that this is his fourth season in the AL East.

As a Red Sox fan I highly endorse the Yankees signing Hardy to a five-year contract.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2014 at 10:34 AM | 68 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, j.j. hardy, mariners, mets, padres, phillies, rangers, royals, yankees

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2014 at 11:46 AM (#4713898)
LOL, yea, its Ned Yost's fault Dayton Moore collected a bunch of stiffs.

How many GMs get to fire three (Buddy Bell, Trey Hillman, Ned Yost) managers without winning anything at all?
   2. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: May 27, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4713929)
Dayton Moore, earlier this season:
"It's very simple why we're not winning as much as we should be -- we're getting plenty of base runners but just not driving them in."

This guy is in charge, and he apparently doesn't realize his team is terrible (and has always been terrible) at getting runners on base.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 27, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4713934)
This guy is in charge, and he apparently doesn't realize his team is terrible (and has always been terrible) at getting runners on base.


Yeah, 13th best team OBP doesn't seem like "plenty of baserunners".
   4. Zach Posted: May 27, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4713943)
If this set of guys doesn't start winning, it's hard to argue that Moore's approach will ever yield anything better. Who in the pipeline is a better prospect than Perez, Hosmer, Moustakas, or Meyers?

I know that the Royals were a big rebuilding job, and I'm happy that the minor league pipeline now connects to the major leagues. But it's hard to see how the current approach could be scaled up much beyond where it is. Gordon, Moustakas and Hosmer were all top 5 picks. If you're not going to improve the quality of the inputs (and I don't see how they can), you've got to improve your yield.
   5. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 27, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4713946)
Dayton Moore may well be the least competent GM ever to hold the job as long as he has. The only worse one I can recall since I started paying attention to baseball was Dave Littlefield, who didn't last as long.

For all Moore has allegedly developed a tremendous farm system for Kansas City, he's never converted it into anything that might be mistaken for a consistently successful major league team, and it doesn't look likely he's about to start.

Of course, I say that but the interesting thing is that we're reading these articles and the team is 24-26--which constitutes a successful two months by KC standards.
   6. DA Baracus Posted: May 27, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4713954)
What if it turns out that Moore misjudged his talent, misjudged his manager, misjudged everything? I'm not saying he has -- not yet.


What more do you need?
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4713961)
Dayton Moore, earlier this season:


Dayton Moore in 2009:

"I'm not talking about getting to .500, I'm talking about winning the World Series when I say eight to 10 years."


He was hired in 2006.

Dayton Moore in 2006, when he was hired:

If you make enough good decisions, three-year plans turn into two-year plans and five-year plans turn into three-year plans. If you make bad decisions, 10-year plans turn into no plan."
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4713983)
Even more depressing, if they ever sack Moore, his replacement will be Ed Wade. David Glass is buddies with Drayton McLane and will probably think that Wade is a nice safe pick with experience. Ugh.
   9. Topher Posted: May 27, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4713986)
LOL, yea, its Ned Yost's fault Dayton Moore collected a bunch of stiffs.


But are they stiffs? They sure play like it. But most of the roster has some type of pedigree. Most are of the age that you would expect increased output. But it just isn't happening.

I know your post is being critical of Moore more than anything, but I think Robothol's headline is on point. Even without going into the tactical blunders that Ned makes on an ongoing basis. I think Robothol is on point when he says "The entire organization seems almost too comfortable, waiting for a surge that might never come."

That indicts Moore as well. But I think Yost has a lot to do with this culture. Hosmer and Moustakas seem overly coddled. Alcides Escobar hits in the 2 hole way too frequently which at least to me sends the completely wrong sign. Maybe Jarrod Dyson is just prone to lapses of concentration but he doesn't seem to be held accountable for them.

Even the one player that you could argue the team hasn't been cozy with (Johnny Giavotella), you can still argue that Yost bundled his development by playing him randomly instead of just sticking him in the lineup and see if he can figure it out.

Oh -- and Yost hates Billy Butler's lack of speed and shows it by pinch running for him as much as possible. But other than that I don't see much "discipline" and this sure looks like a team that could use a kick to the backside.
   10. Topher Posted: May 27, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4713994)
He was hired in 2006.


You can't count 2006. He was hired mid-season.

Everybody in baseball acknowledges that when Dayton took over in 2006 2007 that the team had a talent level that was far worse than even an expansion team.

You live in Kansas City, don't you Retro? You are probably too wrapped up in local news to be aware of it, but the national perception of the Royals is that they are doing a tremendous job. Locals in KC just can't appreciate what an incredible job the front office has done in turning things around.

[/sarcasm]
   11. Chris Fluit Posted: May 27, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4714001)
this sure looks like a team that could use a kick to the backside.


Ozzie Guillen is available.
   12. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: May 27, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4714004)
Everything about these Royals teams of the past few years just screams "shitty coaching" to me--that they keep ####### up the development of their young hitters due to a shitty organizational philosophy. (I think the same type of thing is going on with the Twins' approach to young pitchers.)

I don't think you need to blow the team up--just the personnel.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4714006)
You can't count 2006. He was hired mid-season.


I don't really see why not. He has admitted he selected Hochevar in the draft (although he didn't have a hand in the rest of the draft). He made trades that summer. I realize its not a full season, but he got started in 2006. He signed Sal Perez that summer, and Gil Meche that winter. He's been at this for eight full calendar years now.

You are probably too wrapped up in local news to be aware of it, but the national perception of the Royals is that they are doing a tremendous job. Locals in KC just can't appreciate what an incredible job the front office has done in turning things around.


I give DM credit for making the team a .500 team. But its time for someone to take them to the next level.

In 1975, Cedric Tallis built the expansion Royals from the ground up, and already had two winning seasons. He was fired, for not reaching the playoffs. The next year, the Royals were Western Division champs, and won four of the next five Division titles, including a pennant.

I don't see that kind of accountability now. Being mediocre seems to be the laudable goal everyone is slapping Dayton on the back for. The Rays were all kind of screwed up when Friedman took over, and he took them to the World Series. The Pirates were screwed up when Huntington took over and they made the playoffs. 86 wins shouldn't be our high water mark.
   14. valuearbitrageur Posted: May 27, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4714011)
Yes, because pro ball players to motivate them. It's not as if they are in line to make tens of millions of dollars on long-term contracts by working hard and performing well.

The motivation angle is excuse making of the highest level. Dayton Moore has simply been a horrid resource allocator and he is the problem. Ned Yost may just may not be a good manager or the right manager but again Dayton Moore hired him. Dayton has picked three managers, obviously he has no clue how to pick the right one.

Shields has been very good, and Davis finally good when put back into relief, but together they cost over $18M this year, and can't be retained without substantial increases next year.

Odorrizzi is finally producing some value, and Myers has been terrible so far this year, but they are virtually free, and will be for a couple more years, and then cheap for three years more. That $18M+ could have been spent far better and the Royals prospects for an offensive breakout would be much higher with Myers still around, and their rotation better now and future with Odirizzi instead of their back end retreads.

It sucks to have a bottom their payroll but when you compound this issue by giving away $50 million of prospect value at the drop of a hat you get what you deserve. The big trade is the obvious example because it is so well known and was so terribly bad, but Dayton Moore has lost value in most if his transactions because he doesn't value players well.
   15. Topher Posted: May 27, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4714018)
@14

KT -- I think in general using "motivation" as an excuse falls flat for the reasons you note. (And you are spot on about the use of resources.)

But I think the Royals are the exception to this. Moustakas' failures were too much to ignore. But I'm pretty sure that Hosmer still thinks that a nice eight figure contract is coming his way. I'm pretty sure that if he hadn't signed through 2017, Escobar probably would expect a decent contract heading his way. I wouldn't be surprised if Jarod Dyson thinks he's got a few million heading into his bank account once he's eligible for arbitration.

Alex Gordon is a workaholic and as best as I can tell none of the younger players has sought to emulate him. Maybe it is happening and it is being ignored, but Moore and Yost should be demanding that the younger players take on that same work ethic.

I don't think that you are going to take a league's worst offense and suddenly make them above average by getting the players to "try harder". But I do think the culture needs a shake up and I do think there would be some modest gains to the offensive output by doing so.
   16. valuearbitrageur Posted: May 27, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4714020)
It's also funny that as bad as Wil Meyers has been, he's still been better than Aoki this year and at a quarter the cost. Wil is also a lock to hit far better than Aoki in the future.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 27, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4714022)
Just checked out the Royals stats on BBREF. How hilarious is it the Mike (47 OPS+) Moustakas is tied for the team lead in homers?
   18. Zach Posted: May 27, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4714024)
Can we give the Myers trade a rest? It was a bad trade in principle, but it's not the source of their current problems.
   19. bunyon Posted: May 27, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4714026)
Hard work isn't enough. It has to be smart work, too. You can't just keep banging your head in the wall, say you're working hard, and expect things to work out.

Moore should be gone. Yost should be gone. And a good chunk of the coaches up and down the organization should be gone. When you draft as many highly touted guys as they have and they don't pan out, that isn't luck. That's bad training.
   20. valuearbitrageur Posted: May 27, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4714027)
I don't think that you are going to take a league's worst offense and suddenly make them above average by getting the players to "try harder". But I do think the culture needs a shake up and I do think there would be some modest gains to the offensive output by doing so.


I'm not a fool, so I won't disagree, you are obviously right. But they need far more than modest gains, and that requires becoming far more efficient in acquiring/retaining resources.

The biggest problem with the Shields trade was how good he's been. It's easy for Dayton supporters to paint this as a win, simply ignore the big payroll cost and since neither Wil or Jake have become stars it looks like a win. But that was always the best possible outcome, if Shields had gotten hurt the disaster would have been plainly clear to all. The disaster won't be clear for another year or two, after Shields is gone or re-ups for $20M a year long term, and Myers or Odirizzi breaks out. If ownership keeps Moore beyond this year that's the biggest disaster outcome of all.
   21. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: May 27, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4714032)
But I think the Royals are the exception to this. Moustakas' failures were too much to ignore. But I'm pretty sure that Hosmer still thinks that a nice eight figure contract is coming his way. I'm pretty sure that if he hadn't signed through 2017, Escobar probably would expect a decent contract heading his way. I wouldn't be surprised if Jarod Dyson thinks he's got a few million heading into his bank account once he's eligible for arbitration.


I think this is just a goofy comment. It's based on empty cliches without any sort of evidence. Is there a chance that Hosmer thinks he is owed millions? Sure. Is there also the same chance that he still isn't sure he belongs? Of course. But unless we get a comment either way, it is ridiculous to comment on his mindset.

I still think that no matter what, fans tend to overlook the obvious. The Royals have been terrible during the Glass era. He's on his third GM and none of them have done well. Stop blaming "culture" or the "player comforts".
   22. valuearbitrageur Posted: May 27, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4714035)
Can we give the Myers trade a rest? It was a bad trade in principle, but it's not the source of their current problems.


It's a huge contributer to their present day problems, but also the greatest illustration of how they got here. They spent nearly $30M and gotten 3.5 net WAR so far, and are likely to end up 5 to 6 WAR. That's not bad in the free agency market, but they gave up 4 prospects to do it. So far those prospects have been worth 2 WAR, so they've actually netted only 1.5 WAR, and by seasons end probably less than 3.

If they had spent that money poorly on free agency they probably win nearly as many games last year. And that would be a huge win because they would still have years of control left on a potential star outfielder and decent starting pitcher. They likely lose this trade by 20 WAR in the end. Teams as poor as KC simply can't afford to give away 20 future WAR for a win now year. And if you do, it's far worse to not win now.

They had the core of a team and the extra budget to build a long term winner, but threw it away.
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 27, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4714038)
I still think that no matter what, fans tend to overlook the obvious. The Royals have been terrible during the Glass era. He's on his third GM and none of them have done well. Stop blaming "culture" or the "player comforts".

It's hard to blame Glass here. He's allowed Moore to increase payroll from $47M in 2006, to $92M this year.
   24. Topher Posted: May 27, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4714039)
I think this is just a goofy comment.


Agreed 100%. It is a comment that probably doesn't belong on an analytical site like this one.

I did a couple of cursory Google searches but couldn't find any direct quotes. I very well could be off base on this. But it is the impression I have of the roster based on what I've heard from the local media (tv, radio, press). And I'd completely withdraw my statement if another KC fan wants to correct me. As best as I can tell, those reporting on the team seem to suggest the players have bigger egos than what their (Major League) resumes suggest.

Of course even if I had quotes, taking the words of the local tv crew as gospel is a bit risky. I've just heard enough things over the past couple of seasons that have raised eyebrows that I just sense there is a culture of entitlement in that clubhouse.
   25. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: May 27, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4714042)
It's hard to blame Glass here. He's allowed Moore to increase payroll from $47M in 2006, to $92M this year.


He still employs the GM. I don't know if Moore is good or bad, but the one constant during the Royals ineptitude has been Glass. That has to count for something.
   26. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 27, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4714055)
the national perception of the Royals is that they are doing a tremendous job.

Huh? Is that why we are talking about a foxsports article that suggests blowing things up?

   27. Topher Posted: May 27, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4714066)
@26

That's why I used the sarcasm tag.

Does Dayton Moore get more love nationally than locally?

[edit] And it has come up again within the past month that the locals just don't appreciate the team. Talk radio has had some fun with it. I can't find a direct quote but Rany has mentioned it in his blog.
   28. Zach Posted: May 27, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4714074)
It's a huge contributer to their present day problems, but also the greatest illustration of how they got here.

Again, the problem with this team is not the quality of the inputs. Butler, Gordon, Perez, Hosmer, Escobar, Moustakas and Cain were all highly regarded prospects or have had success as hitters in the major leagues. That's seven out of nine spots in the batting order where you could reasonably hope for solid to star performance. Adding Myers to the group just changes seven underachieving hitters to eight.

The team is not really constrained by money in the same sense as it was in the Allard Baird years. Back then, they were playing bad players because they were cheap. Right now, they're playing bad players who were supposed to be good players.
   29. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 27, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4714076)
Everybody in baseball acknowledges that when Dayton took over in 2006 2007 that the team had a talent level that was far worse than even an expansion team.


That's nonsense, the organization that Moore inherited was certainly in no worse shape than the one Huntington inherited in Pittsburgh.
He took over a team that had a couple young position players on the MLB team, including Berroa, Buck, Teahen, DeJesus, of course none developed, hell all but DeJesus and Buck regressed, and Moore traded DeJesus for 2 bags of popcorn.
The pitching staff was a canker sore, but he had a 22 year old Greinke, who of course had all sorts of issues and Moore later traded him for some guys who well, gee Lorenzo is a damn fine 4th OF...

and in the minors he had: Mike Aviles, JP Howell, Alex Gordon, Billy Butler,

Bad team, even expansion team bad, but no worse than that
   30. Astroenteritis Posted: May 27, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4714083)
if they ever sack Moore, his replacement will be Ed Wade. David Glass is buddies with Drayton McLane


Oh hell no. This would be a disturbing development, to say the least. And nobody should listen to Drayton McLane when it comes to baseball.
   31. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4714084)


It's hard to blame Glass here. He's allowed Moore to increase payroll from $47M in 2006, to $92M this year.


And also, there's nothing that's going to change regarding that, short of someone recording him making racist comments. No use in getting worked up about it IMO.
   32. Curse of the Andino Posted: May 27, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4714087)
Tnstaapp of course, but I do believe one of the things that kept the O's in their doldrums for several additional years was coaching at the minor-league level. Even after the club began to draft reasonably well, they had a bunch of guys--Matusz, Britton, Arrieta--the "Cavalry"--high-level picks with the stuff to be major-league-capable starters. Matusz is a LOOGY, Britton's getting a shot at closer, Arrieta's a Cub. They may not have taken it to the next level because they were so coddled in the minors.

Club does seem to be doing better at developing younger arms nowadays, at least.
   33. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: May 27, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4714094)
Again, the problem with this team is not the quality of the inputs. Butler, Gordon, Perez, Hosmer, Escobar, Moustakas and Cain were all highly regarded prospects or have had success as hitters in the major leagues.


But here's the thing..back in the mid 2000s, the Dodgers had the Jacksonville 5: Chad Billingsley, Andy LaRoche, Joel Guzman, Russell Martin, and Jonathan Broxton. For the most part, only Martin and Broxton have turned out to be useful players at the ML level. Bills was pretty decent, but Guzman and LaRoche never made it. Back then, these dudes were even more hyped than the Royals guys and really only 2.5 (.5 goes to Bills) really made it.
   34. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4714103)
I think the Royals have done okayish in developing players actually. That's Dayton's forte, and while Hosmer and others may not be studs, he is a pretty useful player.

The Zack Greinke trade is the only one where he's gotten found some good young talent, and of course you SHOULD get good talent for Zack Greinke. He has no Chris Davis trade, no Ben Zobrist trade, no trade where he got an undervalued player from another organization. The best case was Alberto Callaspo, and he traded him after two seasons.

This organization has relied too much on in-house talent, thinking that will get it done. They need to be finding gems in other organizations - that's what the Royals in their hey day did. John Mayberry, Lou Piniella, Fred Patek, Jeff Montgomery, Danny Tartabull, Bud Black, Charlie Leibrandt, Hal McRae, Amos Otis, all pretty much poached from other teams for nothing.
   35. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 27, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4714158)
From afar it looks like the Royals' fundamental problems are two:

(1) Their organizational offensive philosophy is both atrocious and inflexible.

(2) Dayton Moore is horrifically bad at assembling a functional major league roster.
   36. valuearbitrageur Posted: May 27, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4714162)
Again, the problem with this team is not the quality of the inputs. Butler, Gordon, Perez, Hosmer, Escobar, Moustakas and Cain were all highly regarded prospects or have had success as hitters in the major leagues. That's seven out of nine spots in the batting order where you could reasonably hope for solid to star performance. Adding Myers to the group just changes seven underachieving hitters to eight.


Age  Player/Pos     MLB OPS+   Pos tOPS+ (2013 AL)
28  Butler/DH      120        101
30  Gordon
/LF      110        100
24  Perez
/Catcher  109        96
24  Hosmer
/1B      104        114
27  Escobar
/SS     75         89
25  Moustaka
/3B    82         105
28  Cain
/CF        93         104

23  Myers
/RF       114        104 


I believe tOPS+ is the league average for the position, if so the average starters OPS+ by position will vary based on pinch hitters and defensive replacements, and this is one season so there is other variance in the numbers. My guess is typical starting CF and catchers come in a bit lower (they are positions where replacements drive up the OPS+) and while starting DH/LF/RF are higher.

Myers would have given them 4 above average hitters. Hosmer is only 24, with two 118 OPS+ seasons under his belt already, so a 104 OPS+ may be not be indicative of his future. Cain's 93 OPS+ is probably not far from league average for starters.

Moustakas & Escobar looks to be the only real black-holes on offense. It's still a very young starting group, none has left their prime years, and 4 still have their prime years ahead of them.

The reality is that the offense is likely better than it's shown this year, and would have probably turned out to be league average or better if Myers was still there. It's actually amazing how well KC did building almost an entire starting lineup out of their farm system.

The problem again is that team spending hasn't been used to replace obvious team holes like Moustakas. Obvously money needed to be spent on starting pitching if the Myers trade was not made, but with $20M to spend (Shields/Davis/Aoki) + Odorizzi, it would seem reasonable the starting staff would be roughly as effective and the team would have $5M or so extra for a cromulent infielder, or $12M a year for someone better than Infante.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: May 27, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4714174)
I was gonna make the same point as Retro. It's not just developing talent or even getting guys to take the next step. To win without money, you've got to win small trades big or luck into a David Ortiz or whatever.

The Rays move to the top was aided tremendously by getting Zobrist, Garza and Bartlett in trades. Those guys were worth something on the order of 8-10 wins for which they gave up nothing. You add 8-10 wins to the current Royals without subtracting anything and you've got a real contender.

Of course it's not clear any GM can do that reliably -- maybe Beane, maybe Schuerholtz, maybe Jocketty in his prime -- but I'm not sure Moore has done it once in his career (Retro mentioned Callaspo). Even Jim Hendry stumbled across ARam and Lofton. The trade for Shields doesn't really count -- even if they guys he traded flop, Shields was an established, fairly expensive player not a cheap unknown.

You probably can't get much past 500 relying purely on internal development. You've got to fill it in.

On the bright side, he hasn't signed any disaster contracts. Vargas, Guthrie and Infante might not be good deals but they're a mere $8 M per so hardly hand-tying.

I see they have a $12.5 M option on Butler for next year. Tough call but he's picked a bad time to tank. And even if he bounces back and they do exercise the option, he's a QO candidate for 2016.
   38. PreservedFish Posted: May 27, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4714179)
The reality is that the offense is likely better than it's shown this year, and would have probably turned out to be league average or better if Myers was still there.


Why are you so obsessed with this trade?
   39. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 27, 2014 at 07:27 PM (#4714206)
Cain's 93 OPS+ is probably not far from league average for starters.


From 2011-2013 here are the median OPS+ for regular starters at each position:

C: 99 (usually it is 92-95)
1B: 115 (some years it is up to 120)
2B: 97
SS: 91
3B: 106
LF/RF: 110
CF: 103
DH: 112 (It's hard to place it, many teams don't actually have a regular starting DH...)

Royals: Perez is comfortably over for his career, but his 128, 115, 105, 96 progression is starting to be worrying.
Hosmer, 118, 81, 118, 93 (104 for his career)- he's basically a below average starter
Infante: career 93, now at 97, more or less an average regular starting 2b- but inconsistent, sometimes better sometimes ugh. Signed as an FA, KC has not gotten much production out of 2b in recent years, but as a general rule signing league average 2bs on the wrong side of 30 is a bad idea.
Escobar: 2 years ago he looked like he'd be a good player, now he's 27 and has a a career OPS+ of 75, and an RField of -1 2012-2014.
Moose Tacos (beaten to death)
Gordon, outside of one year not the bat that was hoped for, but good fielder, good solid regular
Cain: 28 career OPS+ of 93 (114 this year but only 30 games), good 4th OF, below average regular
Aoki: decent regular in Milwaukee, not so good so far in 201, on wrong side of 30, as a general rule signing average players after 30 to FA deals is a bad idea, unless its for not many years and not much $, Aoki is only a one year deal for a lot less $ than Infante- but Aoki wasn't an FA, they traded Will Smith for him, who may be a failed starter, who may only be a loogy, but I have to tell you, Smith's numbers in relief (both majors and minors) have been drool-worthy so far. (though it seems that anyone KC uses in the pen recently goes lights out)
Butler: Good hitter, had an off year in 2013,and has been terrible so far 2014- is he hurt? Only 28, but 2013-2014, 104 OPS+, 33rd among the 44 1b/DHs with 300+ PAs over that span.

2013-2014 Royals have VERY good pitching, but of 9 regular play positions I see two good starters (Gordon and Perez), one guy you'd think was a good starter (Butler) but actually hasn't been recently, a couple of guys who are basically average starters and couple below average slots- and the real problem is there's no "upside" here unless Butler/Gordon/Perez can return and channel 2011-2012.
   40. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4714212)
It should be pointed out that due to defense, Lorenzo Cain has been good enough to be a regular (when healthy). He has 6.6 WAR in 200 games over the last 3 seasons.

Moose and Esky have each had seasons where they've been good enough to be regulars due to defense as well. And maybe that's the problem, having too much of your team's value wrapped up in defense (see Jack Z's early Mariners) is probably not a good idea.
   41. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 27, 2014 at 09:56 PM (#4714259)
Y'all stop talking about Lorenzo Cain, dammit. I picked him up for my fantasy team just a few hours ago, where he can hardly do worse than the likes of Jason "I've Been Awful" Heyward, Nick "I've Been Even More Awful" Swisher, Jacoby "What the Hell is Wrong with Me?" Ellsbury, Alfonso "I'm Finally Done, Looks Like" Soriano & Coco "God, Someone Might as Well Shoot Me" Crisp.
   42. valuearbitrageur Posted: May 28, 2014 at 02:11 AM (#4714432)
Why are you so obsessed with this trade?


I don't know, it's not often teams spend an extra $30M (worth 5-6 wins in free agency) to add two guys worth maybe 8-10 wins, while throwing in prospects like after dinner mints until they totalled at least 20 wins worth.

The Royals chose to lose roughly 18 more games over the next 6 years, to win one or two more games in a single futile season (obviously wasn't futile for Dayton Moore's contract extension, though) .

That's an awe inspiring destruction of team value that will rarely ever be matched.
   43. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 28, 2014 at 07:05 AM (#4714442)
It was a bald, direct cashing in of the team's wins, over the period of the next several years, for Dayton Moore's paychecks.

The trade accomplished exactly its intended purpose.
   44. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 28, 2014 at 09:20 AM (#4714477)
KT's Pot Arb, is there a reason you limit your trolling to ONLY turning every Royals thread into a discussion of the Wil Meyers trade? Why not try to turn every Phillies thread into a discussion of the Ryan Howard contract? Or turn every A's thread into a discussion of the Carlos Gonzalez for Matt Holliday trade?
   45. Nasty Nate Posted: May 28, 2014 at 09:41 AM (#4714491)
The Royals chose to lose roughly 18 more games over the next 6 years, to win one or two more games in a single futile season...

That's an awe inspiring destruction of team value that will rarely ever be matched.


While you have that magic crystal ball out, what are the powerball numbers for tonight?
   46. JJ1986 Posted: May 28, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4714494)
KT's Pot Arb, is there a reason you limit your trolling to ONLY turning every Royals thread into a discussion of the Wil Meyers trade? Why not try to turn every Phillies thread into a discussion of the Ryan Howard contract? Or turn every A's thread into a discussion of the Carlos Gonzalez for Matt Holliday trade?


To be fair, he also turns every DBacks thread into a discussion of Bauer for Gregorius.
   47. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4714553)
the national perception of the Royals is that they are doing a tremendous job


There is no national perception of the Royals.
   48. John Northey Posted: May 28, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4714632)
As a Jays fan I am very happy with how the Royals are run. Seitzer wanted to stay there as a hitting coach but they said 'nah'. Now the Jays are #2 in R/G (5.00) and Royals #14 (3.80). Thanks!

FYI: current Jays roster has 3 hitters below 100 for OPS+, just one under 80 (the #3 catcher). KC has 3 hitters over 100.
   49. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4714647)
the national perception of the Royals is that they are doing a tremendous job


Ken Rosenthal just penned a piece questioning whether people should lose their jobs in KC, and Jon Morosi just tweeted the Royals are one of the most disappointing teams in baseball.

Now the Jays are #2 in R/G (5.00) and Royals #14 (3.80)


Weren't the Jays good offensively and the Royals bad offensively before Seitzer? A ton of Royals fans want Seitzer, but I tend to think his impact was overrated. I thought he was a guy that stressed spraying the ball around and hitting it the other way.
   50. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 28, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4714649)
It should be pointed out that due to defense, Lorenzo Cain has been good enough to be a regular (when healthy). He has 6.6 WAR in 200 games over the last 3 seasons.


2012-2014 he's at 0.0222 DWAR per game
Since 1980 the highest DWAR/game (CF/over 500 games) is Carlos Gomez at 0.0124 per game

There are guys who manage 0.0222 DWAR per game in a season (100+ games), but the ONLY guy to do it twice was Andruw Jones 1998/99

So 1: Is Cain really that good defensively, and if so why was he kept in AAA so long?
2: Even if Cain has played that well so far in his MLB service time it is likely an unsustainable defensive pace

His MLB OPS+ is 92, a DWAR rate is kind of like a pitcher's BABIP of .222, yeah you see that everynow and then, but no one sustains that, the elite CFs can really only sustain .01 DWAR/Game, yeah you can be regular starting CF with a 90 OPS+ and .01 DWAR per game, but he's 28, this as likely as good as he'll ever be, it's all downhill from here (which goes with my general impression that there's really no untapped upside in the team More has assembled, 2013/14 is as good as it gets for this roster).
   51. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 28, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4714654)
That's an awe inspiring destruction of team value that will rarely ever be matched.


Omar Minaya's Bartolo Colon trade was done for the sole purpose of making Omar Minaya look good short term and dwarfs what Moore gave up in the Myers trade
   52. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 28, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4714657)
KT's Pot Arb, is there a reason you limit your trolling to ONLY turning every Royals thread into a discussion of the Wil Meyers trade? Why not try to turn every Phillies thread into a discussion of the Ryan Howard contract? Or turn every A's thread into a discussion of the Carlos Gonzalez for Matt Holliday trade?


To be fair, this thread is specifically a discussion of Moore's performance as a GM, and it's difficult to talk about that without touching on the elephant in the room.
   53. PreservedFish Posted: May 28, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4714671)
Omar Minaya's Bartolo Colon trade was done for the sole purpose of making Omar Minaya look good short term and dwarfs what Moore gave up in the Meyers trade


I think both parts of this are arguable.
   54. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 28, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4714673)
Is there really very much original to say about the trade? Was there ever? The Royals--who at the time had a gaping hole in right field--traded a good and highly regarded young right fielder over whom they had 6 cheap years of control for a very good, middle-aged pitcher over whom they got two expensive years of control--and the pitcher would at best be expected to be marginally more valuable than the right fielder over those two years.

From the Royals' perspective it was an indefensibly crazy move. From Dayton Moore's personal perspective it made perfect sense, because if the team didn't perform well right now he would be fired. Those extra four years of control meant nothing to him personally.

There was an element of stupidity here on Moore's part, that he failed to realize

(a) that Jeff Francoeur was worse than worthless, and
(b) that Wil Myers wasn't a prospect, he was a finished product.

But otherwise Moore did the perfectly rational thing from his own selfish perspective, and more than that the normal thing we all expect GMs in his position to do. When you face a "win or you're fired" mandate prospects don't mean a damn thing anymore.

If I were a Royals fan I'd blame ownership more than Moore for that trade, actually. They should have either fired him outright or extended him before he got to his last year, because an executive motivated to succeed right now at all costs won't hesitate to sell the company's future down the river to accomplish that.
   55. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 28, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4714678)
this thread is specifically a discussion of Moore's performance as a GM, and it's difficult to talk about that without touching on the elephant in the room.


Looking at Moore's team I keep remembering one of Bill James' laments about the KC A's of his youth- he once wrote that literally every [seemingly] good rookie regressed after a year or two in the MLB, and he had a list: Ed Charles, Vic Power, Dick Howser, Ramon Webster, Hector Lopez, etc etc...

I think James over did it, but looking at Moore's teams I don't think the "elephant" in the room is the Myer's trade, is that none, literally none, of these guys is developing the way you'd hope/expect- and that was supposed to be one of Moore's strong points
   56. Nasty Nate Posted: May 28, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4714681)
The Royals--who at the time had a gaping hole in right field--traded a good and highly regarded young right fielder over whom they had 6 cheap years of control for a very good, middle-aged pitcher over whom they got two expensive years of control--and the pitcher would at best be expected to be marginally more valuable than the right over those two years.


I don't know how I have put myself in the position of seeming to defend the trade, but this paragraph is not fair.

If all 6 years of Myers are deemed cheap, the 2 years of Shields have to also be called cheap (they are certainly not "expensive"). And I'm not sure how you are defining "marginally more valuable," but that was certainly not the best-case scenario.
   57. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 28, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4714682)
I think both parts of this are arguable


ok argue
Minaya traded for Colon who had a couple of months left on his contract- and gave up
Cliff Lee (Top 50 prospect per BA),
Brandon Phillips, (top 20 prospect per BA)
Grady Sizemore (then just 19, a year later would be a top 10 prospect) and
Lee Stevens (fine no value).

Then there was Minaya's Cliff Lee rental and his trade of Jason Bay for Lou Collier
   58. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 28, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4714692)
There was an element of stupidity here on Moore's part, that he failed to realize

(a) that Jeff Francoeur was worse than worthless


Being a Mets fan I cringed when the Mets traded for Frenchy, worst case scenario was that he'd have a hot start (he did), the Mets would be fooled and extend him...

well they did keep him past his sell by date by a few months, but later he went to KC, and Moore was fooled, and did extend Frenchy and wildly overpaid him- at a point in time I daresay no other GM in baseball would have fallen for Frenchy (hell down in Atlanta the org absolutely loved him but had long since realized the truth and moved on) Signing Frenchy to that extension was basically malpractice by Moore.
It was widely reported that when the Pirates signing of Derek Bell was announced at the Winter Meetings one year, there was derisive laughter from the assembled crowd of baseball execs. I have a sneaking suspicion that there was laughter from various baseball offices when the Frenchy extension was announced.

   59. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 28, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4714693)
If all 6 years of Myers are deemed cheap, the 2 years of Shields have to also be called cheap (they are certainly not "expensive"). And I'm not sure how you are defining "marginally more valuable," but that was certainly not the best-case scenario.


The six years of Myers are going to turn out to cost about $5-6 million each--if he is a star. The two years of Shields cost $11 million a year. Below market value, but nowhere near the bargain Myers is.

It is absolutely crazy to think that Myers was the high-risk quantity in this trade because he was young and unproven. Shields was the high-risk quantity in this trade, because he was a pitcher.
   60. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 28, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4714694)
Then there was Minaya's Cliff Lee rental


Huh?

I think you're right about the trades in general, but under the circumstances (Montreal's very bleak future hosting baseball), I don't think you can say they were done for the sole purpose of making Omar Minaya look good (which, in fact, they didn't).
   61. Nasty Nate Posted: May 28, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4714720)
The six years of Myers are going to turn out to cost about $5-6 million each--if he is a star. The two years of Shields cost $11 million a year. Below market value, but nowhere near the bargain Myers is.


Oh yeah, if Myers becomes a star, he will be a much better bargain. But that doesn't make other, lesser, bargains "expensive."
   62. Topher Posted: May 28, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4714735)
but [Lorenzo Cain] 28, this as likely as good as he'll ever be, it's all downhill from here (which goes with my general impression that there's really no untapped upside in the team More has assembled, 2013/14 is as good as it gets for this roster).


I think because Cain has so much of his value tied to defense, this probably is as good as he'll ever be.

Although if he can stay healthy, I'm looking forward to seeing how Cain ages. Since the first time he picked up a bat and ball was as a sophomore in high school, he might have a slightly different aging curve than your typical player. He's not your normal 28 year old player. (And he's a young 28 at that ...)
   63. Walt Davis Posted: May 29, 2014 at 06:47 PM (#4715742)
I get 10 players with a PA/dWAR rate below 200 through age 28 and at least 500 PA. 6 of them are active players ... the effect of regression on the estimation of older players. Bobby Wallace must have been a monster! He's also the only one with positive Rbat.

The current group is Machado, Simmons, Arenado, Lagares, Cain and Brendan Ryan. The other guys are Cannizzaro, Mike Benjamin and Joe Tinker. Tinker learned to hit some and made the HoF. The other guys (including Ryan) didn't but remained above replacement through their early 30s. Among that tiny group, they seemed to have had their best season around ages 30-32 ... but it's s small group and just looks like the random year when they managed an OPS+ around 100.

   64. Christopher Linden Posted: May 29, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4715759)
looking at Moore's teams I don't think the "elephant" in the room is the [Myers] trade, [it's] that none, literally none, of these guys is developing the way you'd hope/expect ...

This. Frankly, it's flabbergasting. Even for people who didn't buy the Best Farm System Ever hype, the Royals' young players have flopped at a rate that goes beyond normal prospect attrition and might be historic. And looking at the major-league players understates the problem; a number of highly-touted young pitchers, plus former #4 overall pick Christian Colon, never got to the bigs. It's not like they clearly overreached in the draft (save Colon, although even in that case KC was picking fourth in a consensus three-man draft and they had to take somebody) and it's not like the youngsters performed poorly in the minors. This wasn't analogous to the Jack Z all-gloves approach, either. These dudes were supposed to hit; Hosmer and Moustakas in particular were supposed to mash. Nor was love for this group idiosyncratic; every source from Keith Law to Prospectus to Baseball America raved about the coming wave of young talent.

Not a single player from that crop is even close to meeting expectations. It's been a bust. An enormous, possibly franchise-altering bust.

Can anyone think of any other team in the past thirty years that has had this level of crash-and-burn from as many promising young players?

Happy Base Ball
   65. Christopher Linden Posted: May 29, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4715760)
looking at Moore's teams I don't think the "elephant" in the room is the [Myers] trade, [it's] that none, literally none, of these guys is developing the way you'd hope/expect ...

This. Frankly, it's flabbergasting. Even for people who didn't buy the Best Farm System Ever hype, the Royals' young players have flopped at a rate that goes beyond normal prospect attrition and might be historic. And looking at the major-league players understates the problem; a number of highly-touted young pitchers, plus former #4 overall pick Christian Colon, never got to the bigs. It's not like they clearly overreached in the draft (save Colon, although even in that case KC was picking fourth in a consensus three-man draft and they had to take somebody) and it's not like the youngsters performed poorly in the minors. This wasn't analogous to the Jack Z all-gloves approach, either. These dudes were supposed to hit; Hosmer and Moustakas in particular were supposed to mash. Nor was love for this group idiosyncratic; every source from Keith Law to Prospectus to Baseball America raved about the coming wave of young talent.

Not a single player from that crop is even close to meeting expectations. It's been a bust. An enormous, possibly franchise-altering bust.

Can anyone think of any other team in the past thirty years that has had this level of crash-and-burn from as many promising young players?

Happy Base Ball
   66. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 29, 2014 at 08:08 PM (#4715779)
Apparently, you folks are all missing the point. The Royals real problem is a misaligned coaching staff:
The Kansas City Royals shook up their coaching staff Thursday in an attempt to jump-start their failing offense, making Dale Sveum the hitting coach and Mike Jirschele their third base coach. Pedro Grifol, who took over as hitting coach last season, will now instruct catchers.

That should do the trick.
   67. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 29, 2014 at 08:22 PM (#4715784)
Yeah, well, those deck chairs DID look poorly arranged over there.
   68. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 29, 2014 at 10:26 PM (#4715873)
Not that it justifies the Wil Myers trade at all, but Wade Davis has turned into about the filthiest reliever in the AL all of a sudden.

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