Thursday, December 11, 2008

Farnsworth.

“We’ve added two productive everyday position players for about $9 million,” Moore said. “We would not have been able to do that in the free-agent market.”

No, Dayton, you’ve added two everyday position players – I’d hold off on proclaiming them both “productive” for the moment – for over $14 million.

Coco Crisp: $6.25 million

Mike Jacobs: $3.25 million (estimate)

Kyle Farnsworth: $4.625 million

You can’t claim that Coco Crisp only costs you $6.25 million when you spend almost as much money to replace the guy you traded to get him. That assumes Farnsworth is a true replacement for Ramon Ramirez – and given that the former had a 4.48 ERA last year, and the latter a 2.64 ERA, that’s an awfully bold assumption.

One of the most common mistakes a GM can make is to spend money just because he can. Moore has received a license from Dayton Moore to raise the team’s payroll, and he deserves full credit for obtaining that license, something Allard Baird, for whatever reason, could never do. But a license to spend money is not a mandate to spend money. Kyle Farnsworth will not be paid with a big pile of $100 bills that Moore had just rescued from a bonfire. That was money in David Glass’s bank account, and whatever your feelings are on the creditworthiness of banks at the moment, if Moore had left that money where it was, there’s a good chance it still would have been there if he came back with a request for more money later.

Like, say, if he had wanted to pull out all the stops to signing Rafael Furcal. I’m not 100% sold on the idea of signing Furcal – I think Aviles deserves a chance to prove he can’t play shortstop, and I think Callaspo deserves a chance to prove he can’t maintain a .360 OBP. But I’ve come around to Joe Posnanski’s point of view, which is that the Royals are a lot closer to contending than most people realize, and while Furcal is a risk given his age and recent injury history, if he’s healthy he’s going to be an impact player for at least the next two years. It’s not unreasonable to think he can have enough of an impact to alter the outcome of the AL Central.

The Royals could offer $11 million a year on Furcal, who might prove irrelevant but at the same time might have a huge, postseason-caliber impact on the team. Or they could spend nearly half that much money on a player who at his best is a decent middle reliever, and hasn’t been at his best in four years.

More and more, it’s clear that Moore is aggressively trying to make the Royals into a contender in 2009-2010, with the caveat that he won’t do anything that might hamstring the Royals from building a year-in, year-out juggernaut in 2012 and beyond. In that vein, I understand why he’d sign someone like Farnsworth over Juan Cruz, who several readers have pointed out is a Type A free agent and would have cost the Royals their second-round pick. All Farnsworth costs the Royals is some of David Glass’s money. If you’re of the opinion that the Royals are still two years away from contention, then this move doesn’t matter one way or the other.

But if you’re of the opinion that the Royals can contend in 2009 or 2010 – and so long as Zack Greinke is under contract, I think they can – then you have to ask yourself, was there a better way to spend this money to win more games over the next two years? Maybe Glass’s bank account is inexhaustible, and there’s still money left in the till for Furcal. But if there isn’t, then Moore just blew his chance to sign an impact everyday shortstop for a hot-headed, over-rated, meatball-grooving middle reliever.

(Make that two relievers: Doug Waechter?)

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why so negative Rany?

I'm sure you of all people realize that we would have KILLED for this "problem". Do you realize that if the Royals do pull Furcal out of their hat without dumping major salary, the payroll will be around $85 million? Sure, the Royals still make some bad moves, but at least they're out there and spending.

Let's be honest Rany, the Royals are aiming for 2010, anything that happens in 2009 is just gravy. Why go for broke now, when things are just beginning to fall into place. Sure, it would be nice to have the Royals be the Rays of 2009, but let's not go crazy trying to force it.

This is an 85 win team next year, with a few breaks, we might win the division. Let's not lose perspective from where we have come in such a short time. Did you ever think when this team was 15-47 we would be bemoaning the fact that our signing of Kyle Farnsworth to a 2/9.25 deal hampers our chances of signing Furcal to a 4/44 or something similar deal?

Also, something tells me, with the Outfielder we got from the 'stros today, and the fact that we haven't killed Furcal rumors, that Guillen is being seriously shopped. Also, I would be stunned if Teahen comes back, along with Buck and German.

I still (unlike Rob Neyer, who has lost all of my respect) believe in Dayton, and I won't be surprised if he has something up his sleeve.

Anonymous said...

The Cardinal rule in building any organization is to spend money in two ways: small salaries on young players/employees with big upside with the carrot of a large payday later when they come through on that potential, and very large salaries for proven stars.

You never, EVER pay medium-to-large money for mediocre talent.

Regardless of the negativity of many internet message boards, most people - including internet users - are very good-hearted and optimistic. The natural response is to let Moore slide on these mid-range deals because he's moving the team in the right direction.

That would be the wrong inclination.

The money used to bring in Guillen, Mahay, Jacobs, Crisp, Yabuta, and Farnsworth could have been used to bring in two stars instead of a gaggle of mediocre talent. Two stars - along with the players traded for Jacobs and Crisp - would make this a significantly better team.

The Royals current method of signing free agents will also make their own good players - assuming any ever develop - virtually impossible. If Gordon becomes an average major league third baseman, for example, he would be right in assuming he'll be re-signed to a multi-year deal starting at a minimum of $13 million a year. If Greinke continues to simply perform as he is, he would have the logical expectation of signing a 5-year plus contract at $20 million a year. When you overpay for outside talent, you have to be prepared to overpay your own guys or watch them go to the one team willing to overpay them.

Players will not (and should not) take hometown discounts to stay with a team that piles up money and sets it on fire for mediocre imports.

Anonymous said...

While the numbers the second give are correct, I think that they are missing a key point in that, while we could maybe AFFORD a Dunn or Burnett or the likes, it's not a question of money, but desire.

While it would be great to have a team of young, amazing stars, not everyone is clamoring to sign in KC. Fact remains, we can throw as much money as we want at people, but if they don't want to come here, they don't want to come.

It's not like top-tier FA were begging to play here. The Royals are making do just fine with what is availible to them, and in a few years, maybe we can sign those top-tier FAs.

Anonymous said...

Moore himself realizes just how badly he's hamstrung this team with the Guillen deal. The whole point of the Greinke-for-Francouer rumor was that Atlanta would have to take Guillen's contract as well.

When you might be forced to trade the most talented Royal since Bo Jackson just to get rid of a contract, that's a bad contract.

How can you not learn from your mistakes? $9 million for Kyle Farnsworth? People may think, well, that's only $4.5 million a year, not $13 million. What can you buy with $4.5 million?

$4.5 million, in three or four chunks (Jacobs, Mahay, Yabuta, Farnsworth), adds up to a legitimate player Royals fans could actually get excited about!

Anonymous said...

I also think the "desire" to play in K.C. is a lame argument. Sure, that has been true with isolated players in the past, but the landscape has changed in the past several years.

1. Small market teams have shown they can make the playoffs and do well there.
2. Bad teams of all market sizes have shown they can turn it around quickly.
3. The Royals have shown they can be at least reasonably competitive on the field and that they're willing to spend now to compete.
4. The Royals have two good power starters and a dominant closer, the foundations for a successful postseason squad.

Also, the C.C. contract shows again that players will go places where they will not be as happy simply for a slightly larger contract.

The Royals probably are not interested in Dunn or Burnett due to attitude concerns, but they aren't the only players who are or will be available. (DM's claim that Jacobs may be better than Dunn is ludicrous though. Having watched Dunn play everyday for a month as a Diamondback, his on-base production is ridiculous and changes the entire complexion of the opposing pitcher's approach to the lineup.)

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of the Farnsworth signing, but I don't hate it. I'm happy that we are past the years of signing guys in their late 30's who only make the team worse. At least with Farnsworth, our bullpen will be about as good as it was last year.

I, too, am expecting a few more trades before spring training. At least we can expect some changes to the 40 man roster later today. Should be a fun winter...

Ted said...

I have a new fantasy scenario for this offseason: trade Guillen, Jacobs and Teahen for A or AA-level talent (and in the case of Guillen, a six pack and some yarn would be fine). Use that money to sign Manny for 3 year, $20/per; or Dunn for 4 years, $12/per. Then go to Greinke and say, "See, we are serious about winning, now sign the damn extention".

I'd love it. Manny for three years carries the challenge of keeping him motivated, but I'd rather have Manny play 3/4 strentgh than Jacobs and Guillen playing full tilt.

Plus with either of these guys we can afford to let Kia float or sink, much like Minnesota did with Morneau (see the 2003-2005 seasons). And Butler could be either a fourth outfielder, a DH or a 1B.

Seriously, though, Manny is probably unrealistic, but Dunn might not be so far-fetched.

And like Rany says, just think what we could do with that Guillen money had we not overpaid him last season. Damnit.

Anonymous said...

I'm just glad the days of signing guys like Chris Truby and Terance Long are over.

Matty said...

Um, at least we didn't re-sign Nick Punto for 2 years and $8.5M. Hooray, Royals!

Jeff said...

Anonymous @ 2:10 --

Guess who T. Long's #4 comp is?

Coco Crisp.

Ted said...

Punto is a plus defender at SS, 2B and 3B; and his bat, though anemic, isn't horrible. I'd say that is worth $4/per. That is about what Grud made last year, and most Royals fans were glad to have Grud on the field. Punto seems similar to Grud, but he is younger and probably still a better defensive player.

Also, who fills out the middle infield for the Royals next season? Wouldn't we take a guy with Punto's plus defense and light offense for $4 mil? I sure would.


I just looked it up:

Grud: 299/345/399
Punto: 284/344/382

Pretty similar numbers, though Punto was absolutely horrid early in the season, and that stretch was definately remembered by Twins fans all year long.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, for roughly the same money, Punto or Farnsworth? This is not that bad of signing. Punto is a glorified German....now that contract is bad. Prediction: Dayton still gets Furcal.

Ted said...

I don't think the choice is between Farnsworth and Punto.

I think the choice is between Nunez and Farnsworth. I think the choice is between Butler, Gload and Kia versus Mike Jacobs.

As for Punto, I think it makes a lot of sense for the Twins to bring him back. He is much better than German, defensively and at the plate. And if he can hit like he did in 2008 or 2006 (and not like he did in 2007), then the Twins have themselves a nice SS for decent money.

And, finaly, yes, I do think the Twins signing Punto for $4/per is a much better deal for them than the Royals signing Farnsworth for $4/per.

But I don't think Farnsworth is a total bust. I do think, though, that is is just another in a string of Dayton Moore moves that are puzzling this offseason. As has been mentioned, overpaying for mediocre talent will kill your club. $4 mil for Farnsworth, $3.5 for Jacobs, $12 mil for Guillen -- these contracts are a collective albatross around our necks. We have traded young and cheap talent for old, mediocre and expensive talent. That is not how small market teams make it into the playoffs. In fact, that is not how any team makes it into the playoffs. Guillen for $8 mil on a contending team that just needs one or two pieces? Sure, I buy that. Farnsworth for $4 mil if you need a bullpen arm to eat innings? Sure. Jacobs as a platoon 1B or DH? Sure. But none of these guys should be blocking younger talent; none should be constraining our free agent budget; and none should be billed as "key" guys in some hair-brained attempt to compete in 2009. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Farnsworth is a headcase, we all know that. If you look at his numbers from NY last year, where after 2+ years he'd become comfortable (3.65 ERA), he's not too bad.

The Farnz has had some really good years (2001,2003,2005), and some really mediocre ones as well (2004, 2006-2008). So it really depends on what you can get from him.

And don't sweat Doug Waechter. It's not like he got a huge contract. He's definitely the "cheap, young talent" that everyone keeps asking for. And he seemed to finally start putting things together last year after he was left in the 'pen all year. If he pans out, then great, we got a cheap middle reliever. If not, we didn't lose anything over it.

As for Coco, I think after a year of being in the background, he will definitely be eager to prove himself once again. He'll still be, what 30 when this contract runs out? He'll definitely be playing for his next one!

kcghost said...

GMDM is just boning this whole post season. You trade Nunez for Jacobs who is not any better than a guy we already have (Kila). Then you spend $4.5Mx2 to replace Nunez.

Now you have brought back Horacio Ramirez who you picked up for waivers last year and then traded him to the White Sox where he absolutely sucked. They cut him and we give him $1.8M with $1.1M in incentives??

Meanwhile Guillen, Teahen, Gathright, Gload, Buck, and German all remain on the roster.

swimmerpie3331 said...

Now that the Chiefs are officially horrible again, it is time for the Royals to become good again!

Chiefs down = Royals up.

Anonymous said...

Rany, it is sounding from most of your posts that you're pretty much not excited about any moves the Royals are making. The question really is what would you have done instead? I've heard you comment about how you'd like to trade for prospects like Pie et al, but frankly I'm more inclined to believe in Moore's philosophy that we can't afford to wait around for potential anymore, we need to go get major league ready players. We've been waiting for potential the last 10+ years and still nothing. So instead of waiting around for Killa to develop in the majors, for your pitchers to develop in the majors, for your prospects to finally produce, go out and sign guys who have produced. And a team like the Royals, who lack power, speed, and walks, aren't going to be able to field a team 1 to 9 with outstanding OBP overnight. You need power, you find the guy who is available and has produced power at the MLB level. Same for a center fielder, same for relievers. We're not the Yankees. We're going to have to sign guys like Meche and hope they turn into the type of guys who fit in and perform, because those are the guys who are available to the Royals.

Nathan said...

I think there are three points missing from this discussion:

1) Young talent is good, but young talent that has dominated AAA is better. This notion that the Royals need to put players like Kila, Rosa, etc. on the field and "see what we have" both wastes their service time and produces a poor product on the field. Why not see what they can do in Omaha, then call them up when they've really earned a shot, like every other team does? Talk about Jacobs blocking Kila is half a season premature, at least. I think Kila has a bright future, but the fact is, he hasn't earned a starting job in the major leagues yet.

2) Dayton's trades this off-season have improved the roster. Jacobs is a fine hitter against RHP, and a Jacobs/Shealy platoon at 1B will probably be in the neighborhood of league-average offense. Crisp is an excellent centerfielder with plenty of offensive talent. We're no longer going to be running replacement-level players like Gload and Gathright out there, and eliminating those at bats is the single most efficient way to improve the offense.

3) The Royals can win in 2009. The rotation is already above average, and the bullpen will likely again be so. With continued development by Gordon and Butler, along with the offseason additions, it's reasonable to forecast 800-850 runs of offense. This is a contending team.

AxDxMx said...

Nathan,

800-850 runs on offense? Are you freaking out of your mind?

That would be an improvement of 110-160! While I would enjoy that immensely, it will not happen.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, 1:58pm.

So the desire to play in KC isn't a factor? Then why didn't we end up with Torii Hunter instead of (or in addition to) Jose Guillen? If published reports are right, the Royals were in the same range money-wise as the Angels, and Hunter himself has said the Royals were very competitive in that regard. But, bottom line, he wanted to play for a PROVEN WINNER. That was the deciding factor for him, and other free agents over the years (Paul Byrd jumps to mind).

Antonio. said...

"At least they're out there spending" Apply that to your life and realize how dumb it is to be out there spending. Buying $20,000 cars for 50 grand makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

The Royals were nowhere near the amount of money the Angels offered. No one was.

Antonio. said...

I'm sorry, but who is the most talented Royal since Bo Jackson?

Antonio. said...

Why is Dunn's attitude worse than Jose's or Callaspo's or Bradley's?

scott said...

After the year Furcal had with the Dodgers last year, I would'nt give him 25 cents. And why are we paying good money for the Ynaks "sloppy seconds" (Thanks Mr. Avery)? Not only is it a waste of money, paying for Farnsworth hinders the development of younger arms in our own system. Now we're also the last stop for all the former Atlanta players as well. Dumb

Anonymous said...

I for one HATE the Farnsworth signing. Unlike most, I liked getting Jacobs and loved the trade for Crisp. I even like the signing of Waechter today. (Not that long ago, he was a top prospect in a stacked Rays system.)

But Farnsworth?!?! He's the most over-rated reliever out there. Forget the $9+ million. He's taking up a roster spot that would be better used by a replacement RHP.

What hasn't been mentioned at all is that Moore passed up on some very promising RHPs in the Rule 5 draft today. Guys like Morlan and O'Day were available. But instead he uses only one pick on a LHP and then ships him to the Mariners for cash.

After Jacobs and Crisp, I was certain that Moore would go dumster diving for some RHPs to replace Ramirez and Nunez. He's shown time and again that he is the best at that. When he actually spends any kind of real money on relief pitchers (heck, when ANY team spends any kind of real money on relief pitchers), it usually comes back to haunt (e.g., Yabuta, Bale).

And on top of all of this, Farnsworth has real anger management issues, so he may end up being a net negative with his effect on the clubhouse.

Anonymous said...

just to correct an error if you want you said moore got permission from moore to raise the payroll. methinks you meant glass

Nathan said...

AxDxMx,

The Baseball Musings linup analyzer, using the Royals nine current projected starters and OBA, SLG from this year (altered only by using Guillen's career numbers instead), produces an estimate of about five runs a game. Now, that isn't a prediction with absolute sabermetric rigor--I really look forward to Pecota--but it's a decent first look.

One reason for this is that the Royals underperformed their third-order runs in 2008. Another is that the benefit of getting replacement-level hitters out of the linup is huge, and say what you will about Jacobs and Guillen, they're major league hitters.

800 runs isn't unreasonable. The number of runs scored last year isn't the best predictor of next year's production, and there have been lots of times when teams improved by a 100 or more from season to season. In fact, if Butler develops and Gordon hits like he did in the 2nd half, I think this can be quite a good offensive team.

Nathan said...

Just for kicks and grins, I went ahead and threw my own first-guess projections for OBA and SLG into the analyzer, and here's what I got. We all have our own idea of how these guys will perform next year, but I think it's clear this is no longer 690-run offense.

Anonymous said...

Does Ibanez ending up in Philly make a Teahen trade with the Cubs more likely? They claim to be strapped for cash, which might give them pause in pursuing Abreu or others on the market.

Anonymous said...

It seems like the royals are spinning tires. The organization had a logjam at first base, so they traded a good reliever for another first baseman. Then to replace the reliever they signed an inconsistent pitcher.

And to whoever suggested Butler as a fourth outfielder...have you ever seen him "run"?

Anonymous said...

Let's give Farnsworth a chance before we all start bombing him. He still has great stuff, and hopefully his home run totals will go down pitching in a big ball park. He also has never played for a small market, lower pressure team. I like that Moore traded Nunez and RamRam when their value was high. Reliever are so volatile, that its very possible Farnsworth is better than both of them next year. The only way this is a terrible deal is if it keeps us from signing Furcal, but it sounds like we're still in the running for him.

Ryan said...

We haven't been wasting time for 10 years developing talent. For the first half of that we were drafting the Colt Griffins of the world. So there was no talent to develop.

Farnsworth is a bad pitcher with the straightest fastball in the league.

Anonymous said...

Nathan, that is an awesome link! I used it, put in the career OBP and SLG for every Royals player, and got some interesting results.

It gives the best possible, and the worst possible lineups from the guys and numbers entered. Our best lineup from this is:

Dejesus (leads off all 25 best lineups)
Aviles
Crisp
Jacobs
Butler
Guillen
Gordon
Olivo
Callaspo
(4.862 RPG=788 runs)

Now, obviously there are some flaws with what I did. I entered career averages for guys like Butler, Gordon, and Callaspo, who haven't had long careers yet. A prolonged slump (like Gordon 2 years ago and Butler last year) heavily effect their career numbers. It also accounts for Aviles being as great as he was last year, which we can't really count on. So, adjusting Aviles down somewhat, and some younger guys up i bit, we get this lineup:

Dejesus
Gordon
Crisp
Jacobs
Butler
Guillen
Aviles
Olivo
Callaspo
(4.992 RPG=809 runs)

So yeah, Nathan is correct, we can expect a jump of about 100 runs.

Nathan said...

A logjam at 1B? We have a lot of players who can play 1B, but we don't have a logjam. A logjam would occur if we had a lot of players who can play 1B, and were, you know, actually good firstbasemen. Let's consider the members of this much-ballyhooed logjam:

1) Kila Ka'aihue, who just had a good season as a 24-yr-old in AA.

2) Ryan Shealy, a 29-yr-old whose career line of .271/.335/.429 looked even more anemic before 70 encouraging at-bats last year.

3) Ross Gload, a good defensive first-sacker with a .664 OPS in 2008.

4) Mark Teahen, a worthy guy to have on the roster for myriad reasons, none of which reasons is the likelihood that he'll outhit Shealy in any given year.

5) Billy Butler, who would be a good reason not to go get another firstbaseman if this weren't the DH league.

Our firstbasemen, collectively, posted a .720 OPS in 2008. I can understand thinking that Jacobs isn't the solution to our hole at the position. Thinking that the Royals didn't come into this off-season with such a hole, though, just leaves me scratching my head.

Nathan said...

Having written the above comment, I hasten to add that I don't necessarily think Moore has addressed the 1B situation in the best possible way. If we'd kept Nunez and not signed Farnsworth, then we'd have around $8 million to play with in finding someone to help the offense. That may not turn out to be all that much less than one year of Adam Dunn's salary, or Rafeal Furcal's.

I'm arguing against the idea that we didn't have a problem, not for the idea that these moves have solved it. But I think what Moore's done so far is better than going into next year with the status quo at first base would have been.

THEbobhamelin said...

AxDxMx said...
Nathan,

800-850 runs on offense? Are you freaking out of your mind?

That would be an improvement of 110-160! While I would enjoy that immensely, it will not happen.



don't forget. I think through the first 3-4 weeks of the season (maybe longer..i'd have to check)...we didn't score more than 6 runs per game. This was without Aviles, and with an over-weight "cold" Guillen...and the Hillman-Moore creedo that "defense wins ballgames" and keeping TPJ and Gload in the daily lineup.

i'd say 100-150 run improvement in 2009 is VERY doable.

Anonymous said...

That's funny. I guy by the handle of THEbobhamelin talking about Guillen being overweight!

Red Sox Talk said...

Rany, I agree with your assessment in general. Farnsworth is not much better than a replacement-level reliever at this point, and an expensive one at that.

Instead of using a roster spot on Farnsworthless, I would rather bring up a youngster that sucks. If you're not worried about contending, try out some of your more promising prospects in that bullpen and see if someone pans out. You might find the next Ramon Ramirez in there somewhere. I would rather invest that $9.25M into signing draft picks or improving their minor league system/scouting.

Anonymous said...

First, I'll say DM may be the figurehead, ut it's our whole scouting department making the recommendations to him. I trust them more than I trust the naysayers.
Bob McClure just might help Farnsworth regain his form. You can tweak a guy to get better action, pitch down in the zone, and reduce walks. But you can't teach a guy experience, or how to throw 96 mph. For all we know McClure already saw tape of a heel banger, and said he could get him landing on the toe, getting on top of the ball, keeping it down in the zone, reducing HR, improving action, and making him consistently more effective
Factor in that in Yankee stadium always favors LH batters, and Farns is RHRP.
And the idea of throwing a prospect in there before he is ready is why we ruined many a player in the last 20 years.
Rosa, Hochevar, KK, Moustakas, Hosmer, Lough, Giavotella, and many others need to pay all their dues, not 75% and call it good. Aviles is proof of that. We started the service clock 1-2 years too early on Greinke, Butler and Gordon. We're paying for it in lack of production and now self confidence with Gordon/Butler, and Zack just made it through that, but now his service time is running out and we cost ourselves even more money by rushing a prospect to save some.
Jacobs was designed to buy a year for KK, and two if necessary. He'll be a much more polished prospect who can contribute to success instead of just gain experience.

Otis26 said...

Rany I'm surprised you're falling into the same trap so many others are: comparing Ramon Ramierez' career year of 2008 with Farnsworth's entire history.

I'm sure you're smart enough to have had a look at RamRam's numbers in 2007. There's a reason we got him for a PTBNL and some cash in '08. DM traded him when his stock was highest and it was a very smart move.

Despite the negativity of you and many of the posters here this team is better than it was last year. Not only that there is talent brewing in the minors. These signings are not blockbuster - they're bridge trades. We're going to field a team this year that will likely be over .500. That will draw fans to the K.

Heck...if we're in it in July we may make some moves and give it a go. In the meantime the core of our future is still developing in the minors.

Paul Penny said...

I think the Royals have to take the gamble on Furcal. Once again, I don't see a bunch of flags outside of the stadium from I-70. Things are broke and the Royals have to take some chances.
Furcal SS
Aviles 2b
Dejesus LF
Guillen RF
Gordon 3B
Butler DH
Jacobs 1B
Olivio C
Crisp CF

Not exactly the 27 Yanks, but this team could win some games and maybe the Central. With Furcal,Dejesus, and Crisp there is some big time speed in the lineup. The defense is pretty good.
BTW, I hate the Farnsworth signing. Somebody will hit that truck off of him if it is still there?

Kyle D. said...

Hey Rany,

Charlie Haeger was non-tendered by the Padres. He's your boy right?

Why didn't the Pads look to keep a knuckleballer in Petco? Is there something wrong with his form/motion/makeup?

kevin said...

To add to what TheBobHamelin said, also early in the year, Hillman was obsessed with trying to create a baserunning team and kept sending the wrong guys or at the wrong times and being overly aggressive. This cost us a lot of baserunners when it didn't pan out - which was often.

Sick of it said...

The Farnsworth signing is an ABSOLUTE JOKE. Dayton is doing absolutely nothing but spending money for the sake of spending money. Absolutely ridiculous. When you've proven that you can simply pick up arms for the minimum and make them productive, why in the hell would you give a non-closing relief pitcher with below average RP numbers $9.25 mil for 2 years? WHY? The going rate for solid, non-closer RP's is $8 mil for 2 years. And this years market is down from last year. What the hell? This definitely makes the Crisp deal look all the crappier. And if there's anyone out there that says...what else would you have poor little Dayton do, here's what you do:

Sign Joe Nelson for less than $1 mil/season. Yes. He's better than Farnsworth. Want a 2008 comparison?

Farnsworth: 61 G, 60 IP, 61 K, 22 BB, 4.48 ERA, 1.52 WHIP

Nelson: 59 G, 54 IP, 60 K, 22 BB, 2.00 ERA, 1.19 WHIP

How's that? One of these pitchers was just non-tendered after making $650K, and the other was given $9.25 mil for 2 years. How absolutely stupid is that?

And I really don't buy this "McClure can turn him around" crap. You don't sign someone for that amount that needs to be "turned around". Next thing you know, we won't be signing Grienke because we can't afford his demands. At least we'll have a bunch of mediocre, overpaid, almost-waiver-wire crap instead of him. Yippee! You suck, Dayton.

Sick of it said...

Joe Guillen: 3 years $36 mil
Raul Ibanez: 3 years $30 mil

Suck on that one for a while, Royals fans. Suck on that one.

Hey, I'm sure Ibanez is going to start loafing, get injury prone, stop being productive, and be a cancer in the clubhouse sometime real soon. And I'm sure Joe Guillen will get start playing like he gives a damn, start playing with some guts, stop chasing low and outside sliders and start being a leader in the clubhouse real soon, too.

Good job, Dayton.

Nathan said...

Sick of it,

In two seasons, Dayton Moore has turned the laughingstock of baseball into a respectable team with at least an outside shot at contending in the near term. The Royals are better than when he took over, from A-ball straight through to the Major League roster. These are facts worth considering before throwing a hissy fit because he signed one reliever who, by your intricate calculations, won't earn his paycheck.

I'd love to see the Royals sign Joe Nelson again, but if he's as good as you say, why would he be available for under $1-million? In fact, he's neither as good as you say--a 34 year old with a career ERA over 4--nor as cheap. Judging players by last year's stats alone is silly. Farnsworth has a great arm and an erratic career. If the Royals think they can make him pitch like he did in his heyday, then this is money well spent, if for no other reason than that we can trade him for prospects. Can they? I don't know, and I don't think you do either. Let's wait and see before we declare, with such breathtaking eloquence, that Dayton sucks.

Antonio. said...

Is it really that hard to turn around what the Royals were before? And Moore has only added two significant pieces, Meche and Soria, to Baird players like Greinke, Gordon, Butler, DDJ, Aviles.

Brendan said...

Baseball is still a financial joke and I'm in the mood to bitch about the Yankees today. While Royals fans ponder the merits of a 2 year 9 million dollar deal the Yankees throw out a 7 year 161 million contract and a 5 year 82.5 million contract. It's like a completely different universe and it makes it hard to take the game seriously which may be a good thing because it is a game for entertainment

Brendan said...

p.s. the Royals could win 85 games next year but I'm going to be in the camp of thinking that it's unlikely. Remember last year the Royals played great in garbage time just to get to 75 wins. IMHO they didn't deserve to win that many games.

Dave said...

Still think Connor Barth is "The One", Rany?

Anonymous said...

The Dodgers non-tendered Saito. Is he really gone from LA, or will they bring him back for less money? Is he worth picking up for the Royals? He made only $2 mil in 2008, and when healthy he was really really good.

Nathan said...

Saito was amazing when healthy, even adjusting for Chavez Ravine. However, I think he had an elbow injury last year, and may not be 100%. Still well worth looking into, though. Based on what we can tell from stats, it sure seems like he'd be more valuable than Farnsworth.

Sick of it. said...

Nathan,

At this point, the only conclusion that can be drawn in determining the reason for the Royals improvement (perhaps only because of a fluky September), at every level (really? are AAA and AA looking good? NO), is because he's been allowed to spend more money, in the draft, in player development and at the big league level than Allard was allowed. So he's been given more money. Great. That doesn't excuse throwing money in the toilet on guys like Farnsworth. And no, you can't assume that we can just trade him for prospects at the deadline. His contract will probably prohibit that (see exhibit A: Joe Guillen). You can't just ship off bad signings because you don't want them anymore. Sometimes you get stuck with them. It was a bad signing, plain and simple.

Nathan said...

I'm not *assuming* that Farnsworth can be traded. I'm saying that *if* the Royals are correct in thinking they can fix his delivery and make him effective again, they can trade him (if need be). Who knows if they can do that? Neither you nor I. Assuming that his performance in 2009 will be dictated by his performance in 2008 is absurd, especially when the team is specifically saying they think they know how to improve his game. Scouting plays a role in this, we know Farnsworth is talented enough to be a successful reliever, and we won't be able to judge the results until we see them.

I'm not celebrating the Farnsworth signing, Sick of it, but I think your apparent desire to burn Kauffman Stadium to the ground over it is a bit overwrought.

Nathan said...

The situation here is:

A) The Royals spend more money on a reliever than would normally be justified by his recent performance.

B) The reliever in question undoubtedly has an excellent arm, and has always had the strikeout numbers to go with it.

C) The GM says the pitching coach has seen things in the reliever's delivery that will enable an improvement in performance through coaching.

D)The fans ignore B) and C), focusing like laser beams on A), and declare it a bad signing.

I agree, based on what we know from Farnsworth's numbers, it isn't clear why GMDM wants to spend like this to get him. But if the Royals are making decisions based on knowledge and reasoning obvious in advance to us fans--and every other team--then we are doomed to the cellar anyway. Baseball is, to some extent, a game of asymmetric information, and if you want the Royals to win, you'd better hope they know something we don't. Scouting reports, and perhaps proprietary analysis techniques,are essential. If a team starts doing exactly what bloggers--even smart ones like Rany--who lack those resources would do, we have almost no chance of gaining an advantage.

I'm not sure this is the right place for this little rant, but there it is. I don't mean we should stop analyzing transactions and speculating about whether they're likely to work out, and I don't mean that teams never make mistakes. But I think the anger some posters show when a front office does something they don't agree with is ill-advised. The simple truth is, we don't know enough to judge!

Antonio. said...

Yes, he's wasted plenty of money on crap players. But when comparing him to Allard, it's not like you can give Allard a break by saying "Well, he wasn't given money," because you have to imagine that part of the GMs job is being lucid enough yet imaginative enough and bold enough to convince his owner to open the wallet.

Sick of it said...

Nathan - I not saying that we should expect Farnsworth's 2009 to be poor based on his 2008 results. I'm saying we should expect it to be bad based on 2006, 2007 and 2008's results. There's more than one year of sucking on which to base the opinion. And why should I believe they can fix him? Because of the success we saw with Brett Tomko? Shake Yabuta? John Bale?

Here's the thing: Why so much $? Who was Dayton bidding against? We have never heard of even ONE other team that had any interest in Farnsworth. Not one. So it seems like Dayton was once again bidding against himself, as he did with Guillen.

And no one ever said anything about burning the K to the ground. I have bled Royal blue for about 25 years now, have worked for the Royals, have held season tickets, all of my kids are Blue Crew members every year, have taken large corporate groups to Royals games, and all in all, have done everything in my power to support the team. OK, Nathan? So I think the Farnsworth signing sucks, and I have very valid reasons for holding this opinion. Deal with it, you GMDM, ass-kissing, knee-pad wearing lackey.

Nathan said...

Sick of it,

I'm sorry I offended you. The 'burn down Kauffman' comment was intended as obvious hyperbole.