The Kansas City Royals made two moves in the past 10 days that were exactly what they needed to do. The Royals offered a $14.1 million qualifying offer to pitcher Ervin Santana, and exercised the club option on pitcher James Shields which would schedule him to be paid $13.5 million in 2014. If Santana chooses not to sign, the Royals would receive a compensation draft pick for him.
The right thing
These moves are exactly what needed to happen in Kansas City. Whether Santana signs or not is another discussion but by General Manager Dayton Moore showing that the Royals are willing to pay high-dollar one-year deals, it says a lot about where the Royals are trying to go. With just completing the best season since 1989, it would have been a real shame if the Royals went back to their so familiar ways and decided not to pay for players that can really contribute to the team. It is much more important to have solid pitching in the MLB than it is to have above average hitters. A great position player can have a bad series and hit below .200 for a week and not contribute at all, but when a great pitcher has a off game, they can turn to their 3rd or 4th pitch and still help get you to a win. Great pitching is much more valuable than great hitting, that I the exact reason why I am absolutely okay with the Royals paying their pitchers equal or more money than they deserve.
Where they are going
It has been reported that Ervin Santana wants a multi-year deal worth around $100 million. If this is true and he pursues this deal, it is very likely Ervin Santana won’t be a Kansas City Royal anymore. I, as well as most Royals’s fans, would love to see Santana stay in Kansas City, but if he doesn’t it’s not the end for the Royals. Santana can contribute a lot, but the Royals are deep with pitchers right now and have the talent to have an above average rotation. The Royals have pitchers that they could trade, and fill their sports with guys in the organization right now without losing much of anything or at all. One of these players I believe could be traded is Aaron Crow. Once fans take the emotion out of it and look past his Topeka, Kansas and Missouri Tiger background, they will realize there are many players in the system that could do his job just as well. Crow would be a great trade and possibly could become a starter in another teams organization.
Don’t expect any huge moves from Dayton Moore and the Royals this offseason. The one to keep an eye on is the Billy Butler situation, but I believe the Royals are pretty satisfied with where they believe they are headed and are comfortable with the players within the organization right now.
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